Parents in a number of states around the nation are fighting for what they see as recognition of their stillborn babies. They want the state to issue birth certificates for their babies instead of fetal death certificates. A few states have complied.Fourteen states have already passed Missing Angel legislation allowing the issue of birth certificates for still born babies. You can go here to find out about your state's status on this matter.
Abortion rights groups (the story specifically mentions the National Organization of Women) are concerned that this could lead to an erosion of abortion rights. The MISS Foundation which sponsors the missing angels legislation push addresses this in the FAQ section:
Q: Everyone who I talk to about this seems to want to bring “abortion” into this issue – what’s up with that? Why do they do that – and how can I get them to understand that “abortion” isn’t what it’s all about?
The arena of women’s rights and the protection of them thereof, precipitate painful verbal and political battles between legislative parties. It is very important to be clear when discussing with legislators that your personal opinion on abortion has no influence on this issue. Stillbirth is the death of a child as a result of natural causes. By definition, stillbirth excludes induced abortion.
I have to admit that I was annoyed that abortion was linked to this issue but not surprised. Thinking of aborted babies as people is clearly something that an abortion rights group would wish to avoid.
Any recognition of on unborn child as an entity deserving of any form of recognition or protection by the government brings us one step closer to the demise of abortion on demand. It raises some sticky questions. When do we become persons with rights and protections under the law? Where do we draw the line? Why? What are we before that point? What about it suddenly makes us persons with rights?
I don't think preserving abortion rights is a good enough reason to deny grieving mothers recognition of the life and death of their children.
Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader blogs.