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Hochul signs legislation to support those overcoming pregnancy loss and infant loss


Wed, Oct 18th 2023 07:40 pm

Ava’s Law directs state Health Department to develop and provide informational materials to support individuals recovering from a miscarriage or stillbirth

Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed Ava’s Law to support New Yorkers who are recovering from a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Legislation S.6082A/A.5734A directs the New York State Department of Health to provide the public with information about resources available for individuals who have suffered a pregnancy loss or infant loss. Hochul’s team said, “This legislation will ensure child-bearing New Yorkers have access to the support they need to help their mental and physical recovery.”

The governor added, “Far too many parents are forced to deal with the pain and trauma of losing a child to a miscarriage or stillbirth. When the worst occurs, it is imperative that we support the mental and physical health of women who are navigating this loss. With Ava’s Law, we can ensure families have access to the support and resources they need as they recover.”

Ava’s Law amends the public health law to direct DOH to provide informational pamphlets for those experiencing pregnancy loss or infant loss on what to expect, and resources to help them navigate the healing process. This information will be made available statewide through DOH’s maternal health website. Health care providers who provide direct medical care to individuals and their partners experiencing pregnancy loss or infant loss will offer a printed and/or digital version of the pamphlet as supplemental information.

Hochul’s team said, “National research indicates that approximately 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage within the first 22 weeks, a circumstance known as ‘pregnancy loss.’ Studies that look at the mental health of individuals who have physically experienced pregnancy loss have found that 55% suffered depression following the loss. Medical research also shows that women are at higher risk of depression following a stillbirth, also known as ‘infant loss.’ ”

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “The loss of a child during pregnancy is a devastating occurrence for parents and families to endure, and one many New Yorkers quietly face.”

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