SB 0435 Creates the Disposition of Fetal Remains Act and allows the state registrar to issue a certification of stillbirth
LR Number:1326S.01I Fiscal Note:1326-01
Committee:Aging, Families, Mental & Public Health
Last Action:04/02/03 - SCS Voted Do Pass (SCS SBs 435 & 75) S Aging, Journal page:
Families & Mental & Public Health Comm. (1326S.02C)
Title:SCS SBs 435 & 75
Effective Date:August 28, 2003
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Current Bill Summary

SCS/SBs 435 & 75 - This act establishes the "Disposition of Fetal Remains Act" and allows the state registrar to issue a certification of stillbirth to the parent or parents of a stillborn child.

A new section 193.171 defines a "stillborn child" as a dead fetus that was the product of human conception of twenty weeks gestation or more, calculated from the date the last normal menstrual period began to the date of delivery, and that was not born alive. The certification of stillbirth form must satisfy the formatting and filing requirements of Section 193.085, RSMo, for live births. The certification must be filed with the local registrar within seven days of the delivery. If the parent or parents of the stillborn child do not wish to provide a name, then any references to the name on the certification will remain blank.

If a stillbirth has not been registered within one year of the date of delivery, then a certification marked "delayed" can be filed and registered along with any other requirements necessary to substantiate the facts surrounding the stillbirth. A certification of stillbirth may be issued to any individual having a direct and tangible interest in the record. The certification shall include the statement "This is not proof of a live birth". An individual may file an application for certification of stillbirth for any birth that resulted in stillbirth that occurred prior to August 28, 2003.

A new section 194.381 provides that a mother has a right to determine the final disposition of the fetal remains, regardless of the duration of a pregnancy. Final disposition of fetal remains may be by cremation, burial, incineration in an approved medical waste incinerator, or other means authorized by the Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services. The final disposition of fetal remains does not require a religious service or ceremony.

Within twenty-four hours of a miscarriage, hospitals and other health care facilities must notify the mother in writing of her right to determine the final disposition of the remains of the fetus. Hospitals and other health care facilities must make counseling available to the mother concerning the death of the fetus.

Any person who violates the provisions of Sections 194.375 to 194.390 will be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor. The "Disposition of Fetal Remains Act" does not prohibit a woman's ability to obtain a legal abortion.