State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives today concurred on Senate changes to House Bill 95, which revises Ohio law to remove the word “stillborn” or “stillbirth” or any other words having similar meaning from a certificate recognizing the delivery of a stillborn infant.

Substitute House Bill 95 codifies existing practices of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), which has changed the title of the certificate from “Certification of Stillbirth” to “Certification of Birth” in response to feedback from grieving parents regarding the previous wording.

The legislation requires (upon written request) the ODH or the state registrar to reissue any certificates containing such a word with a new birth certificate. It also requires the local registrar, upon the issuance of a burial permit, to inform the parent or parents of a fetus of at least 20 weeks that suffers a fetal death about the option to apply for a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth, as well as the application process.

“This legislation attempts to show more respect and sensitivity to grieving parents who have suffered a loss of an infant,” said Rep. Hill, who sponsored House Bill 95. “I believe that by retitling the certificate to reflect our understanding of the heartbreak these parents are facing, we can more appropriately show respect for these parents as well as the young life that was lost.”

The Senate included a provision clarifying that midwives may issue birth certificates in accordance with common practice.

Substitute House Bill 95 now awaits Governor Kasich’s signature.

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