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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/HB 101 — Certificates of Nonviable Birth

by Health and Human Services Committee; Health Quality Subcommittee; and Rep. Cortes, B. and others (SB 672 by Senator Bean)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Health Policy Committee (HP)

The bill creates the “Grieving Families Act” which enables a parent to obtain, in certain situations, a certificate of nonviable birth following a miscarriage. The bill defines a “nonviable birth” as an unintentional, spontaneous fetal demise occurring after the completion of the 9th week of gestation but prior to the 20th week of gestation of a pregnancy that has been verified by a health care practitioner.

The bill requires certain health care practitioners who attend or diagnose a nonviable birth, or the health care facility at which it occurs, to advise the parent:

  • That the parent may request the preparation of a certificate of nonviable birth;

  • That the parent may obtain a certificate of nonviable birth by contacting the Department of Health’s Office of Vital Statistics;

  • How the parent may contact the Office of Vital Statistics to request the certificate of nonviable birth; and

  • That certain information on the certificate of nonviable birth is available as a public record.

The Office of Vital Statistics must establish a process for registering nonviable births pursuant to information submitted by certain health care practitioners and facilities in response to a parent’s request for such submission and for issuing a certificate of nonviable birth upon the parent’s request. The bill provides that the fee for a new certificate of nonviable birth must be at least $3 but no more than $5.

The bill prohibits using a certificate of nonviable birth in the calculation of live birth statistics.

The bill specifies that the provisions in this act may not be used as a basis to establish, bring, or support a civil cause of action seeking damages against any person or entity for bodily injury, personal injury, or wrongful death for a nonviable birth.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2017.

Vote: Senate 36-0; House 115-1