(Daryl -- Matthew -- Beth, 2 mos. pregnant with Katherine)
Florida Stillbirth Legislation
"Certificate of Birth Resulting In Stillbirth"
"The Florida MISSing Angels Bill"
One Family's Effort To Change a State's
In Memory of Katherine Elizabeth Logullo
"An angel born sleeping" -- 5/10/05
Governore Jeb Bush signed the bill into law at 1:15pm.
The Media Clips Continue. Here's Another One...
New Florida law helps parents of stillborn
and Chelsea Vogel never met here on earth, but
together they are helping ease the pain for
thousands of Florida couples grieving over the
loss of their stillborn children.
father, Daryl Logullo, a Vero Beach consultant,
says that six weeks after his daughter was
stillborn, he was stunned to receive her fetal
"I scratched my
head and said where's the birth certificate?"
said Logullo. "How can you have a death
certificate without a birth certificate?"
statistics from the Florida Office of Vital
Statistics, there were 1,701 stillbirths in
Florida during 2004. (Stillbirth occurs after
the 20th week of pregnancy; prior to that time a
pregnancy that ends in the death of the child is
called a miscarriage.)
Although most of
those mothers had to deliver their babies
naturally, none of them received a birth
certificate marking the event. Instead, Florida
law only allowed for the issuance of a fetal
slapped us in the face and the state of Florida
slapped us even harder," said Logullo. "So I
decided to turn something negative into
After spending a
few months in prayer, Logullo decided that he
would try to change the law, a path that would
eventually lead him to Gary Vogel, an Orlando
mental health counselor. As a result of their
efforts and those of other parents of
stillborns, the Florida Legislature unanimously
adopted Katherine's Law, which creates a
certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth.
That scrap of
paper is of momentous importance for parents of
a stillborn baby, say grief specialists.
"This is a very
nebulous loss because there is nothing
concrete," says Vogel. "I ask couples to bring
in a memento of their baby and sometimes they
have nothing to validate that this baby existed.
This law gives them a concrete piece of paper."
Vogel's loss of
his daughter Chelsea, who was stillborn in
November 1989, inspired him to specialize in
grief therapy for parents who had suffered as he
did. He has written books on the topic and has
become a nationally known expert. He now runs a
support group for parents of stillborn babies at
Florida Hospital in Orlando.
According to the
National Stillbirth Society, stillbirth accounts
for one out of every 115 deliveries in the
United States and about 85 percent of these
deaths occur before labor begins. In many cases,
the loss is completely unexpected because it
ends a pregnancy that was seemingly
problem-free. That was the case with Katherine
Beth Logullo left
her 35-week checkup May 6, 2005, with a clean
bill of health. Two days later, on Mother's Day,
the Logullos noticed something was wrong. The
following day, doctors confirmed their fears:
Katherine's heart had stopped beating. Labor was
induced and after 18 hours of hard labor came
the arrival of what the Logullos call their
"angel born sleeping."
Like most mothers
of stillborn babies, Beth Logullo did nothing to
contribute to her child's death. For two-thirds
of stillborn babies the cause of death is
unknown. Although medical advances have reduced
the incidence of stillbirth by 50 percent,
according to the March of Dimes, little research
has been done to help identify babies who are at
risk or to prevent the tragedy from occurring.
There is a
nationwide movement to direct greater attention
to stillbirth. Beginning with Arizona in 2001,
13 states have enacted so-called Missing Angel
Acts, similar to Katherine's Law. In some states
pro-abortion forces have opposed similar
legislation on the grounds that it promotes the
pro-life cause. Supporters of Missing Angel laws
try to distance themselves from the controversy
by noting that stillbirth has nothing to do with
pro-life supporters are heartened by the
"It's one more in
a package of laws that protect and acknowledge
the humanness and dignity of the life of the
unborn child," said Deborah Shearer, director of
the Diocese of Orlando's Respect Life Office.
"These certificates are a positive statement of
life and dignity of the human being."
certificates should become available sometime in
early autumn. For stillborn babies delivered
after the July 1 effective date, the person who
filed the death certificate will be responsible
for alerting parents about the availability of
the birth certificate.
Since the 1930s,
150,000 fetal death certificates have been
issued and Logullo says he was adamant that the
eligibility for a certificate had to be
retroactive. Now relatives can order
certificates of birth resulting in stillbirth
for each of those children. Vogel says he plans
to be second in line, right behind Logullo.
have yet to be determined on how to obtain the
certificates and how much they will cost,
Logullo promises he will post the information on
his Web site,
5/10/06 - Happy
First Birthday Katherine!
Happy 1st Birthday
Still Awaiting Formal
Bill Signing Date
An emotional, bittersweet day of
family love on Katherine's first birthday.
See pictures and read about the day.
5/9/06 - Received This E-mail Today.
Date: Tue 5/9/2006 10:28 AM
From: Hagberg, Nadia
A public signing for SB 746 has been requested by more than
one member of the legislature and is on the Governor's
As far as the status of the bill goes, I am your best point
The Governor will have 15 calendar days to act on the bill
once it is
received by our office. At this time we do not know when we
receive the bill, but please feel free to email / call me at
for an update.
All the best to you and your family.
Legislative Affairs Office
Executive Office of the Governor
4/28/06 - Article Today In Vero Beach Press Journal.
Birth certificates for stillborns bill should
VERO BEACH — A
Vero Beach couple's efforts to gain formal state
recognition for stillborn children is expected
to result in the signing of a bill early next
month allowing for birth certificates for these
April 28, 2006
Daryl and Beth Logullo's baby,
Katherine Elizabeth, was stillborn almost a year
ago after nearly eight months of pregnancy.
Shortly afterward, the Logullos were informed
that while they would receive a death
certificate for their baby, there were no
provisions in state law for a birth certificate
to be issued.
State of Florida, my baby's birth never
existed," Daryl Logullo, wrote in a letter to a
senator, which is posted on the couple's Web
The Logullos viewed this as an
injustice and decided to take action.
Before long they were able to
enlist state Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville,
and state Rep. J.C. Planas, R-Miami, to sponsor
a bill that would remedy the situation and allow
the state to join 13 others in issuing birth
certificates for stillborn children.
The bill, known as
"Katherine's Law," recently was passed by a 39-0
vote in the Senate and a 118-0 vote in the
House, and is expected to be signed early next
month by Gov. Jeb Bush.
The bill defines stillborn as
an "unintended, intrauterine fetal death after a
gestational age of not less than 20 completed
Rep. Planas said the bill
would not have received the type of support it
got in the House and Senate without the Logullos'
He praised Beth Logullo's
courage in coming forth to talk about her
experience and having to emotionally relive an
event that many parents of stillborn children
don't like speaking about.
"I think this is one thing
that the state can do to provide comfort for
people who have suffered a loss of this
magnitude," Planas said of the bill.
By the time a stillbirth
usually occurs around the eighth or ninth month,
Planas said, the parents often have completed
the baby's room, bought baby clothes and chosen
After all that time, for
parents of a stillborn child to be given a death
certificate and not a birth certificate "seemed
to be patently unfair," Planas said.
• Allows for a birth
certificate to be issued to parents of stillborn
• Florida House passed bill
• Florida Senate approved
• Gov. Jeb Bush expected to
sign bill in early May.
• For more information visit
Personal Meeting Today With Gov. Jeb Bush.
While in Tallahassee today, Gov. Bush's office called and
requested an in-person meeting with the three of us. Bill Co-Sponsor
Senator Jeff Atwater and his assistant Megan McCready made the
arrangements. They both have been so good to us!
We spent about 15 minutes in the Governor's office and he gave us his
commitment that he would soon sign the bill into law -- likely before
the session ends on May 5th. We requested a formal bill signing for
everyone. He said he would be happy to arrange one.
The Governor took quite a liking to Matthew.
What a brave, courageous little guy Matt was for 8 years old!
The Governor shows Matthew his desk.
Afterwards, Matt comments to us about how *tall* the Governor was, at
about 6' 3.
"He ain't as big as Shaq, though," he said. :)
Whew! Meeting the Governor
is hard work... (the drive home)
Update 6:03pm from
Bill Passes Fla. House of Representatives
Complete overwhelming joy! A very emotional and gratifying day,
as Beth, Matthew and I arrived in the House of Representatives Chamber
at 8:45a. We were asked to sit in the West Gallery, upstairs looking
down onto the full Chamber floor (pictures later). At 9:00am sharp, we
observed the opening prayer, pledge of allegiance, roll call, and the
legislative deliberations that take place (our first time).
Of course, we had NO idea WHEN our bill
would be called forth into what we were certain would be some active
debate. And we waited... and waited... and waited.
The entire session was schedule from
At 11:30a, we were wondering if the bill
would EVER get heard. Not to mention, Bill Sponsor J.C. Planas
(Miami-Dade) was anxious to get the bill heard and he just didn't seem
to sit still the entire time. But then, around 11:40am, Planas was
finally called upon to introduce our Bill.
"Read the next bill," cried the
"Bill 439, and Act related to Certificate
of Birth Resulting In Stillbirth," said the clerk.
Remarkably, the typical Chamber noise and
chatter seemed to fall still as he rose to speak. I suppose whenever you
mention the words "Certificate of Birth" people start to take note. In
any event, Planas rose and began by giving a brief explanation of
the bill. Then he immediately said, "Members, I want you to know that
I received a phone call from the Logullo family who brought this issue
to me. And now we have this Bill called Katherine's Law. I want you to
help me welcome them. They are sitting up there in the West Gallery.
Daryl, Beth and Matt Logullo are here today."
We were asked to stand and the entire House
Chamber rose to applaud us. It was quite humbling.
The House Speaker then followed
parliamentary procedure, and called for bill amendments and we held our
breath! Luckily, they're were none brought forward and we breathed a
sign of relief! Then, the Speaker asked for debate and discussion, and
UNBELIEVABLY, none also!
As such, the bill was officially moved from
"Second Reading" to "Third Reading" where it was then scheduled for full
vote, which typically happens on the following day. Now, the total
Planas surprised everyone -- he immediately
made the request that the Third Reading be waived, and the Bill be voted
on immediately. WE WERE STUNNED!
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. "This
ISN'T supposed to happen," I thought. "They normally wait a day, and
But, if one thing has been consistent
throughout this whole process, it has been that there is always a
surprise somewhere. And today was no different.
We peered down on all 118 members in
attendance as they scrambled to find their seats and desk, at which time
the House Speaker shouted from high atop his podium, "The Clerk will
unlock the machines and the Members will prepare to vote."
Then, each Member reached forward to press
either a GREEN, YELLOW or RED button on their desk, and instantly, on a
large LED screen to our left, we turned to watch history being made: All
120 Members names displayed by last name in orange, and the entire
screen began to light green.
"Have all Members present voted?,
shouted the Speaker. "The Clerk will announce the vote."
"118 Yays, Zero Nays Mr. Speaker,"
said the clerk.
And Matthew, Beth and I all grasped each
other... and cried tears of joy for Katherine and every Angel child,
past, present and future.
Update 12:03pm from
A remarkable day in the State Capitol. A fitting to the final
stop for the bill -- another unanimous vote. Matthew and Beth are with
me. More about the day later.
Article In Today's Jacksonville Times-Union.
Parents of stillborn
children may receive birth certificates
By MIKE GIMIGNANI,
Thursday, April 13, 2006
TALLAHASSEE -- Out of the blue, Katherine just stopped moving in Beth
Until then, Logullo had almost eight months of
trouble-free pregnancy. She even went into labor.
But Katherine was dead.
Beth and her husband,
Daryl Logullo, are convincing lawmakers to give them
a part of their daughter's life the state has so far
denied them: a birth certificate.
Sponsored by Sen.
Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, and Rep. J.C. Planas,
R-Miami, "Katherine's Law" would allow parents of
stillborn children to receive a commemorative birth
certificate from the state. The certificate, which
would be an official public record like other birth
papers, would allow parents to name stillborn
The measure has passed
through the Senate and could finish in the House as
early as next week.
"This piece of paper
means a lot to us," said Daryl Logullo of Vero
Beach. "It means that the child was important, not
only in the eyes of the state of Florida but to her
To be stillborn, a
fetus must have remained alive for 20 weeks. The act
also clarifies that stillborn children with state
birth certificates will not be included in the
state's tally of newborns, and the document that
parents could ask for would read, "This certificate
is not proof of live birth."
If the bill becomes
law, Florida would become the 14th state to allow
birth certificates for stillborn children. About
1,800 babies are stillborn every year in Florida,
and parents get a death certificate in each case.
"I don't have any
idea how we can have a death certificate without a
birth certificate," Daryl Lagullo said. "So far
nobody can answer that question."
raised plenty of emotional flags among lawmakers.
Rep. Bob Henriquez, R-Tampa, said he was named after
a stillborn child who would have been his older
brother, and his parents suffered so greatly from
their loss that they wouldn't talk about it.
"They [parents of
stillborn children] have just gone through one of
the most traumatic things anyone can go through in
their life," he said. "They want some solace and
comfort in their grief. If that means a piece of
paper that means more to them than anything we could
ever conceive of, then so be it."
The bill (SB 746 and
HB 439) also raised concerns from some lawmakers
that providing the certificates would give stillborn
children legal status that could be used to overturn
the state's abortion law. But the sponsors altered
the bill enough to make clear that the birth papers
are meant only as a memorial, said Sen. Rod Smith,
"I have a friend in
Miami who had a stillborn child, and they don't talk
about it," he said. "Most women and most couples
look at giving birth as this long ordeal, with a
great reward at the end.
"The Logullos didn't
... have that joy at the end. At least we're giving
them something to provide them comfort."
(850) 224-7515, ext. 16
Bill Date Moved To Thurs. April 20, 2006. Second Reading in the
House will be on Thursday, 4/20/06, with Final Vote tentatively on
Tuesday, April 24, 2006. (Told you it was subject to change). Mean time,
an aggressive e-mail and telephone campaign has begun. The undecided
House Members -- which we define as those Members who have not given us
a resounding *YES* -- are being targeted. They are starting to pay
attention. But we need everyone's help. Here's how to determine...
WHO IS STILL
Tentative Full House Vote Will Be Wed. April, 19, 2006. Received
word today that the Bill is officially headed to the Florida House of
Representatives. It is being schedule for "Second Reading" --or official
floor discussion and debate--among the 120 House Members, on Wednesday,
April 19, 2006, beginning at 9:00am. You can watch the debate and
discussion live via the House web site, by
clicking on this link.
"Second Reading" gives every House Member a
chance to ask questions and debate the bill. All of the Members do not
have a chance to do this when a bill is in committees. So before a bill
is voted on, they are all given the chance to openly discuss and debate
the merits of a bill, including offering amendments to a bill. This is
not a vote, but a debate time.
After this takes place, a bill is then
officially be placed on "Third Reading," which typically occurs on the
next day. At "Third Reading" this is where a final official vote
will take place.
Best case scenario, this would mean our bill
will have a final vote on Thursday, April, 20, 2006. This won't be
scheduled for sure until the bill passes through Second Reading. So it's
a day-by-day thing. We need everyone's help to...
CONTACT HOUSE MEMBERS
AP Story "Roundup" Today Carried Nationally.
day in Tallahassee, Thursday, April
By The Associated
Parents are a step closer to getting
birth certificates for their
stillborn children, as the Senate
approved the "Missing Angels" bill
Supporters say the bill brings
needed comfort and closure to
families who deliver stillborn
children. Opponents worry that the
law might carry implications for the
abortion debate, but supporters
contend that stillbirth involves no
voluntary termination and is
Legislators struck a compromise by
adding the words "memorialize" to
the bill, to show their intent is to
console grieving parents and not to
expand the legal definition of a
child to those that aren't born.
The bill (SB 746) waits to be
scheduled for a vote in the House.
The bill would make Florida the 14th
state to offer certificates of
stillbirth to mothers who carry
their children at least 20 weeks and
We are stunned. Thank you just doesn't seem like enough words to say to
SO many people who wrote, called and emailed all of Florida's 40
Senators. The only way it could have been any better is if the vote was
40-0! THEY HEARD YOU.
Today, we are receiving message after message from people across
Florida, and the United States. Here are just three of the many...
Full Senate Approves Bill In Second Reading; Third, Final Reading Still
Needed. A lesson in parliamentary procedures from someone who
knows nothing about them :) Again, you may want to read:
How An Idea In Florida Becomes Law
Today, the Full Florida Senate adopted the needed
Amendments to get the bill into FINAL shape for a full vote. The
technical, legal term in the Florida political process for this short
debate is called a "Second Reading" with "Adoptive Amendments." The
primary amendment was the language memorializing the bill to also be
know as "Katherine's Law." Once the amendment was introduced and the
entire bill explained by sponsor Senator Stephen Wise (Duval), there was
an expected lively discussion from those lawmakers who have never heard
the bill. And even a Senator or two debating AGAINST the bill.
Read the Entire Bill Text Here
The typical indifferent remarks about
childbirth, viability, legal precedents and other bizarre notions
suggesting that the bill was "unneeded", "silly" and "convoluted" were
thrown around by Senators who clearly do not understand the
issue. As I've said all along, that issue is as follows:
Nonetheless, the Session finally piped down
after 17 minutes of debate and the Bill was "Ordered Engrossed,"
or now called an "Engrossed Bill," essentially scheduling it for a FINAL READING in front of the Senate.
The next step should the bill pass the Senate will be an "Enrolled
Click Here To Tell The Entire 40 Person Fla. Senate
To Vote For This Bill!
Meanwhile... over in the Fla. House, they
are getting the Bill ready for this same exact legislative process over there
Final House Committee (Health & Families Council) Approves Bill
Bill Amended; To Be Named "Katherine's
Since the bill was first assigned to committees
in the Florida Legislature in December 2005, it took 110 long days... 5
personal trips to Tallahassee... hundreds of telephone calls and
e-mails... over 300 hours of personal sacrifice, over 4,000 miles of
travel, new friends and relationships that have blossomed... and worth
every SINGLE amount of effort.
Today, the Florida Missing Angels Bill
has emerged into a legitimate legal reality. We are now on the cusp
of creating a new law in the state of Florida for every parent, aunt,
uncle, grandparent, family and friend of a stillborn child -- providing
them the option to receive their child's birth certificate. Florida may
soon become the 14th State in the United States to create such a
meaningful law. Today, an amendment was introduced to name the bill in
honor of Katherine Elizabeth Logullo, or and act of law entitled
"Katherine's Law." We were completely stunned by
this very gracious and loving gesture.
Please realize the Bill has now emerged from
the toughest scrutiny it will ever face -- 7 separate committee
discussions, two branches of legislative debate (House and Senate)
various legal amendments, and rigorous analysis and critique. All the
while -- and in bittersweet irony -- we were with the Bill much like a
parent raising a child -- every step of the way! The one common
Today, the House Health &
Families Council passed the bill, essentially now sending it to the full
2006 Florida House of Representatives to vote it into law.
We are grateful to Sylvia Shofi of Tampa, angel mother to twins, Matthew and Joseph
Esposito who made 10 hour round trip. While Sylvia had every intention
to testify in front of the Committee, we were told by Rep. Planas' aide
to refrain from public comments. The Committee had a heavy agenda and we
were assured that the Committee would pass the bill. So a quick vote was
better than long, drawn out discussion, the reasoning was given.
No matter, Sylvia, Beth,
Daryl and Gail Whitney, refused to keep quiet! Our life long friend Gail
Whitney came to EVERY meeting, driving over 5 hours roundtrip each time.
A truly remarkable woman.
Today, everyone filled out a
public appearance card, and at the appropriate time, stood separately
and said to the entire 10 person Committee, "I waive my time in
support of the bill." It was a beautiful thing. When the meeting
concluded, we all then met with House Majority Leader Andy Gardiner
(Winter Park), to ask his assistance in scheduling the bill with the
Speaker of the House as soon as possible. He also suggested he might be
able to give us a week's notice, so that we may let others know about
the formal Floor vote, in case anyone (you!) wants to come to
Tallahassee to witness history being created.
Daryl | Beth
Click Here To Tell The Entire 40 Person Fla. Senate
To Vote For This Bill!
Final House Committee (Health & Families Council) To Vote on Bill.
Today we received the long awaited call: the final of ALL 7
committees will hear the bill on Tuesday, April 4, 2006. This is the
FINAL step in the long awaited process to move the bill "out of
committee" to a full vote in the Florida House of Representatives. Also,
House Sponsor Rep. J.C. Planas (Miami) will file an amendment at this
meeting to officially rename the bill in honor of Katherine Elizabeth
Logullo. This was a very hard decision for us to make -- granting
permission to rename our entire efforts in honor of Katherine -- but it
is one that is both beautiful and affirming. We will always be grateful.
We are also grateful to our newfound friend,
Sylvia Shofi of Tampa, angel mother to twins, Matthew and Joseph
Esposito. She will
make the 5+ hour drive to Tallahassee to testify on behalf of her
precious sons that she gave birth to and lost on August 22, 2005
Contact Final Committee Now!>>>
3/29/06 - Final Senate Committee Waives Hearing of Bill! Today,
the final Senate Committee -- the Senate Health and Human Services
Appropriations -- waived hearing (and voting on) the bill. This was
expected, as this committee dealt mainly with financial issues related
to health care. The bill had minimal impact on the State of Florida,
financially, so a waiver was granted. This now clears the bill to move
out of the committee process into a "Second Reading" in front of the
entire Florida Senate members during full session (40 Senators).
What is a "Second Reading?" What will happen
Here's a complex diagram will tell you where the bill has come from, and
where it now goes. (Short story: We are within weeks of a vote in the
How An Idea In Florida Becomes Law
3/28/06 - Received this
E-mail Today. Sue Bodishbaugh of Tampa wrote to us with a
very e-mail today to share about her story about herself and her dear
friend Regina Goucher. Regina is the proud mother of angel baby Sarah Natalia,
and has been a friend to us here.
Here are some of Sue's comments:
2006/03/28 Tue PM 03:15:58 EST
Angels Born Sleeping
Regina Goucher's daughter, Sarah Natalia
Salsano, though an angel
born sleeping, definitely had a
task on earth and God had a plan for her. Her coming brought
healing to six
families we know of, ours and four others who have since
lost full term,
perfectly normal, stillborns. I believe your Katherine also
had a task on
earth: to compel you to take this action for all of us.
My sister-in-law in Arkansas is a psychiatric nurse. She is
her young friends who lost full term Angelica Celeste. She
was alive at
the beginning of the week. No movement was felt one day and
mom was checked. There was no heartbeat. Perfectly normal
and two weeks from term. No reason for her death.
Having just gone through this with Sarah,
I was able to send along all we'd known and gone through,
all the steps you take and choices they had. I sent your web
site as well.
It's a wonderful thing you do and we support you in every
way we can. One
thing my dear friend recalled of her traumatic time those
many years ago
was that there would be no birth certificate, as Jonathan
was considered a
stillborn, and not a born child. She didn't want a death
wanted a birth certificate. She got neither, and ended up
counseling and a 30+ year ache in her heart.
We are looking forward to healing deep wounds and if
others get through this traumatic time intact.
Thank you for the work you do,
Stepmother of Jonathon Conlee Bodishbaugh
Friend of Sarah Natalia Salsano
3/26/06 - Still
Awaiting Final Two Committees. Waiting patiently. that about
describes the current final hurdle with the bill. Any day we should know
about (1) Decision to waive the bill from the final Senate committee,
and move the bill to a full Senate vote; and, (2) When the bill will be
heard by the House Health & Families Council. As soon as we get notice,
we'll post it here. Check back often.
3/23/06 - Bill Awaits Hearing Date In Health & Families Council (Final
Today, we received this e-mail from our sister in-law, who wrote to
Representative Holly Benson (R-Pensacola). Benson is the Chair of the
final committee the bill faces:
From: Benson, Holly
To: Logullo, Charlotte M.
CC: Planas, JC
Sent: Thu Mar 23 17:43:01 2006
Subject: RE: HB 439
I am very supportive of this legislation and have voted for
it twice already.
I intend to get it on my Council's agenda as soon as
possible, but because
there were already a number of bills waiting to be heard,
the bill will not be
on the agenda next week. Please know that this is a priority
for me, and I
hope we can do this for the Logullos and the many others who
have had similar experiences.
3/20/06 - House Health Care Appropriations Passes "MISSing Angels Bill"
Today, we faced the
largest of ALL committees we've faced in the entire legislative process:
16 members. The bill again passed by a unanimous margin of 13 to
0 (three lawmakers absent). This was the third
committee of four in the Florida House of Representatives.
included Beth Logullo, Barbara Logullo (Daryl's mother), Gail Whitney
(family friend), Alex Macsuga (family friend) and once again,
psychotherapist Gary Vogel. Beth, Daryl and Alex all spoke at the
committee. It was another beautiful, blue, clear spring day in
Tallahassee, and we had arranged for a luncheon before the hearing.
Little did we know that before the 2pm meeting even began, the emotions
would start to run high.
During lunch at a nearby restaurant, we ran into the House sponsor,
Representative J.C. Planas and his aide. He told us how the bill
continues to gain favor among his House colleagues, and once again
praised us for taking a leadership role. Then, he said something that
stunned all 6 of us at the table.
"With your permission," he began, "I'd like
to file an amendment at the next committee meeting to rename the bill in
the name of your daughter Katherine Elizabeth in her honor." We were
speechless. (Still are.) And it was the beginning of a truly great day.
The committee meeting began promptly at 2pm,
and our bill was the first to be called up. After brief opening remarks
by Rep. Planas, the public was called forward to testify. Beth went
"I gave birth," she began, standing at the
podium. "The process was no different than when I gave birth to my 8
year old son. I have two children. But for the state of Florida to only
give me one birth certificate is a slap in the face."
She was praised by the committee members for
her courage to appear before the panel and testify. Daryl then followed
with some brief remarks. "Right now, in your district, they are women,
families and father's just like me, hurting," He said. "Help them. Do
the right thing. Turn their tragedy into triumph."
Next, was our lifelong friend Alex Macsuga,
who has helped in so many ways -- including securing the bill's
co-sponsor in the Senate, Senator Jeff Atwater. Alex spoke to the panel for about 5 minutes.
Read Alex's Testimony
3/16/06 - House Health Care Appropriations Committee To Vote Mon.,
3/20/06, 2pm --
The largest of ALL committees we face -- 16 members. This is the third
committee of three in the Florida House of Representatives.
3/10/06 - Senate Health & Human Services Approp. Committee (Ctte 3)
May Waive Hearing Bill! --
Senator Wise's office called today to say they are requesting that the
final Senate Committee be waived from hearing the Bill. The Senator said
the last committee in the Senate deals with financial issues, and this
bill has no financial impact to the State of Florida. Not to mention,
nearly all the members of the final committee were on the first Senate
Should the committee agree to waive hearing the Bill, this is excellent
news! This would mean the Bill would pass directly to the
floor of the Florida Senate Chamber for full and final Senate vote!
3/8/06 - House Gov't Operations Committee
Passes "MISSing Angels Bill"
Committee Passes Unanimously. (7-0)!
Two more committees unanimously approved the bill today. Both sides (House and Senate) introduced
several technical amendments to the bill. These do NOT distract from the
original intent of providing the CBRS to women who give birth. They are
merely administrative technicalities on issues such as parental
notification, electronic filing, et cetera. We have now conquered 4 of 7
committees, with 3 remaining. It should be a very busy month, with more
momentum and positive outcome (hopefully). After the Senate hearing, Janice Gilley,
Policy Director for Governor Jeb Bush, came up to me and told me the Governor is very
interested in the bill and supports it. And that he has been getting
emails about it.
A special thank you to Gary Vogel, LMHC from
Orlando. Gary made the 4 hour drive and gave moving testimony to both
panels. "Birth is a process," Vogel said. "Life or death is an outcome.
Don't take away from a family's 'process.' Please provide validation to the parents who have lost children that
they are important... that these children matter."
Vogel lost his oldest
child, Chelsea, to stillbirth, in 1989 at 38 weeks. He works heavily
today with couples providing fetal death counseling through private
practice and through Florida Hospital.
When it came my turn to come forward, I read a two-page statement from
Beth who was unable to attend. It was courageous writing scribbled on
pieces of spiral notebook paper she intended to speak at the last
meeting. She did not know I took her notes and shared them until
afterwards. Because she was quite upset she couldn't attend, I felt this
was my way of making her 'heard.' I told her after the hearings, "You
did a beautiful job today, honey." To which rather cluelessly, she
replied, "What are you talking about?" I then broke the
news of how I stole :) her notes and read them, to more than 200
people... and how it was very moving to both committee
members -- several, which cried. I know it made Beth feel good she
'contributed.' Way to go momma!
I also learned
that the Associated Press continues to watch the bill. Again, you'll
in more than 15 Florida papers today:
State Might Create Birth Certificates
For Stillborn Babies
10:23 pm EST March 8,
Fla. -- Florida is two steps
closer to creating birth
certificates for stillborn babies
after lawmakers unanimously approved
the "Missing Angels" bill in two
"It's exciting to
see that the Legislature is
embracing it as a means of bringing
help and healing to people. I'm
excited at the momentum it's
gaining," said Daryl Logullo, of
Logullo and his wife,
Beth, are pushing Florida's part of
a national movement to create birth
certificates in every state. Mothers
who carry children for at least 20
weeks and deliver them stillborn
could request the certificates.
Daryl and Beth say
they're working in honor of their
baby Katherine, who was stillborn
two days after Mother's Day last
"I call her an angel
baby because she was born perfect
and sleeping," Logullo said. The
Logullo's wrapped, weighed, took
footprints, and cremated Katherine -
they even got a death certificate
for her. But under current state
practice, no birth certificates for
stillborn babies exist.
testified at every committee meeting
where the bill has been heard,
including the Senate Judiciary
Committee and the House Government
Operations Committee. Both panels
passed the legislation unanimously
"We're doing great,"
said Sen. Stephen Wise,
R-Jacksonville, who introduced the
bill (SB 746). Rep. Juan Carlos
Planas, R-Miami, is sponsoring
companion legislation (HB 439) in
the House. The bills face three more
committee hearings combined.
So far 13 states
have passed similar laws in the past
five years. In other states, some
have questioned whether the bill
promotes the anti-abortion cause,
but supporters say stillbirth cannot
be linked to the abortion debate
because it involves no voluntary
3/6/06 - House Gov't Operations To
Vote Wed., 3/8/06 at 1:00pm
A doubleheader! The same week, the same day, and another committee hearing was
today -- 1,500 feet to the north of the Florida Senate. Ever
heard the saying, 'gotta be in two places at the same time?'
3/5/06 - Senate Judiciary Committee To
Vote Wed., 3/8/06 at 2:00pm
Just learned the second of three Senate Committees will vote on the
bill this Wednesday at 2pm.
Here are all the details, including what to
2/25/06- Associated Press Article Runs In
15 Different Florida Papers.
Birth certificates proposed for some stillborn babies
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Eight months into her pregnancy, on Mother's Day, Beth
Logullo's baby stopped moving. Two days later, her baby,
Katherine, was born still and silent.
"There wasn't a dry eye in the room," husband Daryl Logullo
said. "I call her an angel baby because she was born perfect
Katherine was wrapped, weighed, footprinted and cremated.
But when Daryl Logullo went to collect his child's remains
and request her birth certificate, he learned there would be
On Wednesday, the House Health Care committee unanimously
approved the "Missing Angels" bill (HB 439) to create birth
certificates for pregnancies that last 20 weeks and end in
the natural delivery of stillborn infants.
Last week, a Senate committee unanimously approved similar
legislation (SB 746).
Daryl Logullo supports the Florida legislation. So far 13
states have passed similar laws in the last five years.
Other bills have been unsuccessful in past sessions, and
this year's legislation has a long road ahead, with five
House and Senate committee hearings scheduled after
But sponsor Rep. Juan Carlos Planas, R-Miami, said Wednesday
that the legislation is important. "This bill corrects what
is probably an injustice for a lot of people who feel they
have lost a child."
In other states, some have questioned whether the bill
promotes the pro-life cause, but supporters say stillbirth
cannot be linked to the abortion debate because it involves
no voluntary termination. Florida's pro-choice groups
haven't taken a position. # # #
2/22/06 - House Health
Care Reg. Committee Passes "MISSing Angels Bill"
Perhaps it was fate, but today the House Health Care Regulation
Committee unanimously passed the bill by nearly the same exact vote as the
Senate. In one week, two separate legislative bodies, two separate
groups of lawmakers, two separate public hearings, and two separate
presentations. And nearly identical outcomes: A 10 to 0 unanimous vote in
favor of advancing the bill. Beth attended the hearing, and was prepared
to speak. But the bill was heard last on the agenda after several other
bills, with only about 20 minutes left in the entire 2 hour hearing. In
the interest of time, House Sponsor Rep. J.C. Planas (Miami) made a very
powerful opening statement and then recognized Daryl to come forward
and speak. After Daryl gave testimony for about 10 minutes, Rep. Planas
made a very powerful closing statement to the committee. "I want this
committee to realize that this bill is about one thing, and nothing
else," Planas said. "It's about giving the people of the state
closure in one of life's greatest tragedy. They deserve the birth
certificate for their child." He was masterful and spoke
his heart. The committee fell silent and immediately moved to vote, and
the result was an unequivocal unanimous "yes. "
So, what happens next, you may be
Here Is What Happens Next
Associated Press Telephoned Today.
Today a staff writer for the
Associated Press (AP) called from the Tallahassee Bureau. She learned of
the bill and interviewed Daryl for about 20 minutes by telephone. We are
hopeful this will turn into a positive story distributed by the AP
concerning the CBRS efforts in Florida.
2/15/06 - Senate Health
Care Committee #1 Passes "MISSing Angels Bill" Unanimously. (9-0)!
It was a very long Wednesday in Tallahassee, but extremely worthwhile. I
spent the entire morning walking the halls of the Florida Senate, House
and Capital buildings, trying to meet people. What I learned was that
politicians are literally impossible to meet with -- at least when they
are in their capital office. Forget it. They simply are SO busy with
other committees and meetings that they are lucky if they are in their
office for more than 30 minutes the entire day. But no way... I was NOT
walking way empty handed. I didn't let it deter me.
managed to meet at least 10 legislative assistants to key Senators and
it was very worthwhile. I even got to see Governor Jeb Bush give a
speech outside during a beautiful, sun-filled Tallahassee day.
Meanwhile, 1,500 feet to the north, over in the House building, House
sponsor for our bill (HB439) Rep. J.C. Planas (Miami) spent time with me
and it was great getting to know him. I'll be over there this coming
Back and forth. Back and forth.
Back inside, as I strolled
the halls (felt like I walked 10 miles) and made a conscious effort to
keep my eyes open for every stray Senator I could see. I felt like a kid
chasing baseball players during Spring Training (something like that).
In any event, it worked.
I concentrated in both the
House and Senate and in speaking to politicians on the coming
committees -- namely committee two and three on each side of the bill.
you read this now, I am still calling people and lining up face-to-face
meetings for my next trip, all day Tuesday 2/21/06. Beth will go with me
on this trip. The greatest tribute I can pay to Katherine, Matthew and
Beth is to talk to lawmakers about their courage and grace during our
Meanwhile to the
Senate committee testimony today: The meeting began promptly at 2pm. Only 7 of 10 committee
members were in attendance. At least, I only counted 7 on the panel! (2
voted later, I'm now told). This often happens. It also underscores the fact
why every committee person you speak to is important to have an
indication of how they will vote, ahead of time. You simply don't know
who will show up to vote!
The committee heard 10 bills in a room of about 100 people, on a
variety of Florida health care issues. The room was filled with special interest
groups and professional lobbyists of all types. Although someone said I
dressed the part (the rat), I felt completely out of place. I was lucky enough to
figure out that if you want to address the committee and speak, you have
to fill out a form at the front of the room and turn it in to the
committee secretary who sat on the panel. Thank God I did this.
Otherwise, I would have never been invited up.
The panel reminded me somewhat of pictures I've seen of the Supreme
Court, with a lone podium front and center, with a front panel of high
back chairs for them to stare to try to star you down. "Bring it on," I thought.
I asked God for grace and strength.
When our bill "SB 746" was called, the sponsor, Senator Stephen Wise
(Duval) came forward and presented the bill with quick, bulleted
talking points. He said, "This is a bill that we did not come up with.
It came to us by many constituents in the state who say it is the right
thing to do to bring closure to personal tragedy." I appreciated hearing
that. Then the committee chairman called me forward. And up I went.
I spoke for about 10 minutes
(seemed liked 30!) and had a sea of emotions. But I was told
that I held my own. Senator Wise stood by my side the entire time, and
even patted me on the shoulder several times which was very encouraging.
Here are the transcripts of
A special thank you to
Michelle and Chris Thompson of Jacksonville (angel parents to Tyler),
Chris' mother (grandmother to Tyler), Dr. Gary Vogel, (Angel dad to
Chelsea) and Gail Whitney, a life-long family friend, for being in the
audience. They all made a long drive. While they didn't get a chance to
speak (because they didn't know the protocol), I felt them cheering! Thank you!
One Senate committee done. Two to go.
Four committees to go in the
House. Please help by making phone calls or sending emails..
Sen. Ken Pruitt (Pt. St. Lucie) Agrees to Co-Sponsor.
Today our dear friend Kara Macsuga received
this wonderful email:
From: TREADWELL.ANDREW.S28 On
Behalf Of Senate Appropriations Committee Chair
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 12:22 PM
To: Kara Macsuga
Subject: RE: Missing Kate Bill
Many thanks for your e-mail regarding Senate Bill 746, relating to
certificate of birth. This excellent piece of legislation would provide
a birth certificate to parents in the unfortunate situation that a child
is birthed as a stillborn. This is a sad and traumatic experience for
any family and a birth certificate should accompany the infant death
Please know that I will be contacting Senator Stephen Wise in order to
co-sponsor his bill and I will also gladly support this legislation as
it moves through my committees towards debate on the Senate floor.
Once again, thank you for expressing your concerns over this matter.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (Palm Harbor) Agrees to Co-Sponsor. Our friend Anastasia Underwood of
Oldsmar -- proud mother to angel Alexander (9/8/04) -- sent this email to us today:
Sen. Jeff Atwater (N. Palm Bch) Steps Forward In a Big Way!
Our friend Alex Macsuga wrote to Senator
Atwater. Everyone should have a friend like Alex. Here is the reply:
Sen. Paula Dockery (Lakeland) Steps Forward Today!
Having a woman take a giant step in a
leadership role is key. THANK YOU! Her aide e-mailed with this message:
From: Sen. Jeff Atwater
Wed 1/18/2006 11:55 PM
To: Alex Macsuga
Subject: Re: Florida Missing Angels Bill - Senate Bill 746
Thank you so very much for sharing Katherine's story. You must be very
proud of Beth and Daryl. I simply can't imagine the sadness they have
experienced following the joy and anticipation of Mother's Day and the
knowledge that Katherine would be placed in their arms within weeks and
then learning she had died. Their mission now must be accomplished!!! I
will do everything I can to see that the State of Florida recognize the
birth of Katherine and any past or future "Angel born sleeping."
I will immediately sign-on as a co-sponsor. I will join the bill sponsor
to ask the committee chair of each referenced committee to please
schedule the bill for a hearing at the earliest possible date. I would
like to speak (if only by phone) with Daryl and Beth at the earliest
possible date. If you might pass their number on to me I will call them
personally...whatever they prefer.
I will anxiously await the opportunity to talk with Beth and Daryl.
PS Megan, will you please get me added as co-sponsor asap. Please
prepare a letter from me to Sen. Peaden requesting that he agenda this
bill (SB 746) in our Health Care Committee at the earliest possible
date. Thanks. I would like to talk with prime sponsor of the bill asap
(I think that may be Sen. Wise).
1/8/06 -- More Government Leaders Step Forward To Sponsor Bill!
Lobbying efforts are paying off, thanks to people like you. Senator
Mike Bennett's office called to say they will Co-Sponsor the Bill in the
Senate; Representative Marcelo Llorente (Miami) and Representative Juan
Zapata (Miami) both have joined the many House leaders sponsoring the
bill. That makes 8 lawmakers in the House and 3 in the Senate.
||2006/01/11 Wed AM 10:03:19 EST
||Florida Missing Angels Bill
1/4/06 -- Faxes, Telephone Calls, and Personal Meetings Must Begin.
This week, we begin the continued task of writing, emailing, mailing,
faxing, telephoning and even face-to-face meetings. Te effort is focused
on Committee Members for both the House and Senate. In the last week,
dozens and dozens of people have written and e-mailed us voicing their
help and support. THANK YOU!! We need your efforts NOW
more than ever.
12/27/05 - House Committee Assignments Out.
See the above RED BOX for details. Happy
New Year. More later.
12/21/05 - More
House Members Co-Sponsor Bill.
No committee assignments as of yet for the bill in the House, but we did
get 5 co-sponsors for the bill... Rep. Dennis Hays, Rep. Dennis Baxley,
Rep. Baxter Troutman, Rep. Anitere Flores and Rep. Susan Goldstein.
Efforts are paying off. We will gain more steam once the new year
rolls around and committee meetings start cranking.
12/14/05 - Rec'd word on Senate Committee Assignments For Bill.
Today, the Bill was assigned to three (3) committees in the Florida
Senate for discussion and debate: (1) Health Care; (2) Judiciary; (3)
Health and Human Services. Once I get a better description of what these
committees are, and who the Senate Members are, I'll post it here.
Expect similar committee assignments in the House. 12/9/05 - Rec'd A
Telephone Call from Rep.
D. Alan Hays (Umatilla). Says he's on
board. He had a still born brother in the 1940s. Hays is 60 years old
12/6/05 - First round of letters mailed
out today. 120 personal letters mailed to all State Representatives.
60 letters mailed to all State Senators. We'll see what happens with the
first in a series of letters going out.
12/2/05 - Rec'd an Email from House Majority Leader
Rep. Andy Gardiner (Orlando). His Legislative Assistant Stacy Van Camp wrote and
said he wants her to keep tabs on the bill. I wrote back to her asking that he
more formally add his name to the bill. We'll see what happens. Looks like a
12/1/05 - Working Fast With A Lot of
The database has been built. The
follow-up letters are being drafted. I'm using all of my marketing
prowess to plan the drip campaign for all Florida Senators and House
Members over the next 6 months. The first letter will go out this month,
then likely 1 to 2 letters a month will be mailed. We'll hit everyone in
the House and Senate. This, together with people calling and e-mailing
should start to get the MAB on their radar screen.
11/29/05 - Now That Both Bills Are Filed...
We need an easy way to start contacting 40 Florida Senators and 120
State Representatives regularly. So we came up with the idea of having a
database built with all their names, addresses and contact info. We'll
start mailing personal letters to all of them in December. You (reading
this!) need to call or e-mail them, also
11/23/05 - Bill Filed in Fla. House.
Today, Rep. Planas office filed the bill in the Florida House for the
2006 session. Step two in the long process of Florida stillbirth
completed, with more work coming. Up next, the Bill gets assigned to
committees in both the House and Senate for committee discussion and
debate. As I say, the work begins to advance the Bill. Help by using the
11/19/05 - Bill Filed in Fla. Senate.
Today we received wonderful news
that our bill has been officially filed in the Florida
Senate! We expect it to be filed in the Florida House shortly.
Thanks to State Senator Stephen Wise and Senator Mike
Haridopolos. This is the first crucial step towards changing the
law on infant stillbirth in Florida.
11/8/05 - MAJOR NEWS COMING!
Richardson called today to tell he
has the final bill draft! Any day, and we should have a
bill number. Check back.
9/29/05 - Florida
House Sponsor Found!
Planas (Miami-Dade) personally called today and was very gracious
and compassionate on the phone for about 15 minutes. He said as
soon as Sen. Wise receives the draft bill and it is assigned a
Bill number, he will take the lead and file it in the House.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE, especially to Representative J.C. Planas
9/27/05 - Spoke to office of State Representative
Juan-Carlos "JC" Planas of Miami.
Spoke to his aide today (on the suggestion of Rep.
Bogdanoff's office). Sent this fax as a follow-up:
Mr. Juan A. del
c/o The Honorable Rep. J.C. Planas
Florida House of Representatives
8532 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33144
RE: House Sponsor --
“Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth”
(Florida MISSing Angels Bill)
Dear Mr. del
Thank you for our telephone
conversation last week. Recall, Senator Bodanoff’s office in
Broward County said I should contact your office.
I would like you to speak to
Representative Planas about his lead sponsorship of very
important piece of legislation to the families of Dade County,
and throughout Florida.
Your county consistently leads
the state with 200 to 300 dead babies born each year, through no
fault of anyone -- stillbirth. Yet the state of Florida law says
that women, who physically and emotionally give birth to a child
who has died in-utero, cannot have a birth certificate.
This despite the fact that a woman endured the physical aspect
of childbirth, and gave birth.
This happened to my wife and me
in May 2005 with our daughter, who died in my wife’s womb 8
months into our pregnancy. She was completely healthy, and to
this date, we still have no medical explanation of what
happened. Yet it is something that is very quietly swept away
and not acknowledged.
This is horrendous and wrong, and
a glitch in current law that has been overlooked for far too
I would like Representative
Planas to be the lead House sponsor for our 2006 MISSing Angels
Bill, currently sponsored by Senators Wise and Senator
Haridopolos, and being considered by other House
Representatives. I have been invited to go to Tallahassee during
the 2006 Session and provide my testimony. But before I do that,
I would like Representative Planas to step up to the plate on
this one for the hundreds and hundreds of families in Dade
County and throughout Florida.
- Why Representative Planas?
I know that childcare, children initiatives, healthy mothers
and babies in the State of Florida are important to
Representative Planas. I hope he will endorse our efforts
through sponsoring our bill.
Thank you for inviting me to stay
in touch, and for speaking personally to the Representative
about this issue.
I look forward to hearing back
9/26/05 - Senator Wise has Bill; Fla. House Member
Needed! Wise's office has the bill back from Tallahassee. Told me
today the Senator will NOT move forward and sponsor the bill in
2005 without a House sponsor. We've got a few months to get this done,
but come December it will be too late. His office is seeking sponsors.
But don't rely on him! PLEASE WRITE YOUR FLA.
HOUSE MEMBER! today! Copy, paste and e-mail my letter on top of
Still Seeking a Fla. House Sponsor!! -
Spoke to Representative Ellyn Setnor
Bogdanoff's (Ft. Laud) office today. Letter follows. Also, messages
have been left/emails sent to the following: Representative Stan
Mayfield (R - Dist. 80), Representative Susan Bucher (D - Dist.88),
Representative Dick Kravitz (R - Dist. 19), Representative Dean Cannon
(R - Dist. 35), Representative Baxter Troutman (R - Dist. 66),
Representative Adam Hasner (R - Dist. 87). No one has stepped up the
the plate yet! All have been contacted by site visitors and
friends. THANK YOU!
c/o The Honorable Rep. Ellyn Setnor Bogdanoff
Florida House of Representatives
908 South Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316-1036
Dear Mr. Nevins,
Thank you for our telephone
conversation today. I greatly appreciate you speaking to the
Representative about her sponsorship of our very important
To repeat: We need a
House sponsor for our 2006 bill, currently being written in
Tallahassee and sponsored by Senators Wise and Senator
I know that childcare,
children initiatives, healthy mothers and babies and human
rights issues in the State of Florida are important to
Representative Bogdanoff. I hope she will endorse our
efforts through sponsoring our bill.
And thank you for inviting me
to stay in touch with you on this issue.
**Important: We are desperately in need of
a Florida House sponsor of the bill. If you or anyone you know can speak to your local State Rep, please get in touch with us at the link above. You don't have to
do anything. Just make an introduction, or better yet, send them to
9/8/05 - The
Bill Is Being Written and Sponsored!
Sen. Wise's office today confirmed that he WILL sponsor the bill!!!
It's currently in Tallahassee being drafted by lawyers, and expected in
his office in 10 days. Apparently my emails, faxes and phone calls are
working, as are the hundreds of people coming to this site. He's using
the Texas Legislation for the basis of the first draft, and I'm anxious
to see it. This is step one in a very long process, but we couldn't be
8/31/05 - More Progress Today!
Two weeks later, and still nothing from Sen. Wise. But as luck would
have it, the
Senator from my own district, Mike Haridopolos was in town. I
managed to track him down and interview him for a separate news story I
freelanced for a local news station here. After we were done, I told him
about MAB, and he willingly said "Yes," he would d help. Even said he's
willing to co-sponsor or sponsor the bill. Said he'd contact
Sen. J.D. Alexander, and
Rep. Baxter Troutman. I faxed him this note:
Honorable Senator Mike Haridopolos
c/o The Florida Senate
2955 Pineda Causeway
Melbourne, FL 32940-7307
Dear Senator Haridopolos,
Thank you for our radio
interview today, and also for the personal time you spent
listening to my story. I greatly appreciate you wanting to
be involved with the Florida MISSing Angels Bill.
My contact with Senator
Wise’s office is Mr. Steven Richardson at 904-381-6000.
Again, thank you for your interest, and for discussing this
with Senator Wise, Senator Alexander and Representative
I’ll let you know what we
hear, and please do the same.
8/17/05 - Good News! Another Phone Call From Senator Wise's Office
- As promised, Steven Richardson of the Senator's office called me
back. Said they Senator does indeed want to re-sponsor the
bill during the 2006. I told Richardson that while the
2003 bill his office wrote had some foundational elements, it lacked
substance to represent children and parents in Florida. Pointed him
State of Texas' new law as excellent framework. I expect there will
be a lot of talk about this. I cross my fingers and hope he's still on
board. Here's my follow-up fax:
Honorable Senator Stephen R. Wise
Mr. Steven Richardson
c/o The Florida Senate
1460 Cassat Avenue, Suite B
Jacksonville, Florida 32205
Proposed Florida Legislation – “Certificate of Birth
Resulting in Stillbirth” (Florida MISSing Angels Bill)
Senator Wise & Mr. Richardson,
Thank you for ongoing
discussions on sponsoring the Florida MISSing Angels Bill,
“Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.”
I faxed to your office an
excellent piece of legislation the State of Texas recently
signed into law. I understand that Mr. Richardson has
reviewed this and contacted a legislative aide in Texas
(SB-271) who worked with their Senator. My wife and I feel
very strongly that the wording in the current Texas law is
an excellent platform to shape similar law in Florida, and
truly will reflect the wishes of parents who have suffered
the tragedy of infant death due to stillbirth. Anything less
would be a disservice to our children who have died.
Allow me to share my
Birth Resulting In Stillbirth (“CBRS”) – This is very
precise language centered on the first three words
“Certificate of Birth”. It is crucial language to the bill.
Not “Commerative Certificate of Stillbirth.” Not
“Certificate of Stillbirth.” But Certificate of Birth
Resulting in Stillbirth. This is critical for affirming that
a woman successfully gave birth to a child, regardless of
whether that child was living or deceased at time of
delivery. More than lingual semantics, it shows that women
who deliver a stillborn child successfully gave birth. It
matters greatly that they are recognized. It matters even
more that it is a true “Birth Certificate,” classified as a
stillbirth. Again, any other form of certificate or wording
does not accurately reflect and acknowledge that a birth
occurred. This would be a terrible, terrible injustice.
defined – Medically defined as death after a gestational
age of 20 weeks. That I am aware, nowhere in current Florida
statues is this defined. This is critical for many reasons,
including define who is entitled to be given the above
Certificate of Birth. This will avoid any issues related to
miscarriages, and so on. The Texas Law does a good job at
to parents a CBRS is available to them” – Whoever files
the fetal death certificate (funeral home, hospital, etc.)
would be required by law, to inform the mother and father
that the State of Florida has available a CBRS and that is
available at the request of the parent. This is not only
essential to the parents grieving process; but more
importantly, I ask you to imagine for a minute this: How
much comfort could something so small as simple gesture of
mentioning a birth certificate is available bring to
parents, should they want one for their child?
will be printed on the CBRS” – Imprinting the child’s
name on the birth certificate further memorializes that a
birth happened, and that the child’s birth certificate is
theirs, and only theirs.
with local registrar” – I understand this to mean, for
example, what is filed in Tallahassee’s Office of Vital
Statistics signifying a birth occurred must also be
filed in the child’s county of birth. This is
standard protocol for normal births. The same should happen
for stillbirths. Again, anything less would indicate the
birth, in my words, was not “real” or was less than a
“Request at any
time” – Simply states, this says that all parents of a
stillborn child may request a CBRS at any time. This means
that the 1,621 parents in Florida who endured this horrific
tragedy during 2003, for example, can, with a new law,
request their child’s birth certificate. Past, present,
future. And that all these lives greatly matter.
Again, I thank you for your
interest and I hope that you will closely examine the
language in the Texas law.
8/11/05 - Ten Days Later. Got a
phone call today from
Senator Stephen Wise's offices (R-Duval) in
Jacksonville. Wise originally sponsored the
Florida MAB in 2003.
Spoke to his Legislative Assistant, Steven Richardson, who called me to
say he received my letter, forwarded to him by Senator J.D. Alexander. Wise originally sponsored MAB in 2003, but it failed and likely
"died in subcommittee," as he called it. He wasn't sure why that
happened. But told me he suspected it was because there was no House
sponsor of the Bill. He told
me he'd speak to the Senator and get back to me, and as far as he can
tell, it's something Senator Wise still wants.
Mailed Letter to Florida State
Senator J.D. Alexander. Here's the 4 page
letter I sent via Certified U.S. Mail today.
Honorable Senator J.D. Alexander
122 East Tillman Ave. Suite 1
Lake Wales, FL 33853
wife, Beth, and I are in great need of your help. So are
many, many Floridian mothers, fathers, grandparents and
registered voter and a constituent in the State I
ask that you take a moment now and prepare yourself for what
I am about to share with you.
a year ago, in October 2004 we were overjoyed to learn
that we would be expecting our second child in June 2005.
having a child is meant to be one of the happiest things
that can happen in one’s life, our pregnancy ended abruptly and in complete devastation.
May 9, 2005, the Monday morning after a glorious Mother’s
Day, Beth awoke with uneasiness and
great concern over her pregnancy. She courageously
drove herself to the hospital . I rushed from
work to be by her side and I watched her be hooked up to
various fetal monitors. In only a matter of minutes, and
just days after a routine and excellent prenatal check-up
with her doctor, we learned that our baby girl’s heart was
no longer beating. For no medical reason whatsoever, at 35
weeks into our pregnancy--or approximately 8 months--three
separate OB/GYN physicians confirmed our worse fear: Our
daughter, due to be born in just 5 short weeks, was no
important for me to tell you that during this pregnancy Beth
never drank alcohol, she did not smoke, and in no way
endangered our daughter in any way. She carefully followed
her doctor’s advice at every turn. Yet regardless her doing
the ‘right things,’ our daughter was now dead. We were then
faced with telling our parents and family-and
even more difficult-picking
our second grade son up from school and try to explain
to him what had happened to his sister.
that afternoon, we checked into the hospital, were
placed behind double-secured doors in the labor and delivery
ward and together with our doctor watched in complete
shock and devastation as he prescribed medication that would
immediately induce labor during the evening of Monday, May
9, 2005. Beth would very faithfully endure an emotionally
and physically traumatizing childbirth of about 18 long.
Courageously battling a overwhelming sea of emotions, she
conquered heartbreak and agony to deliver our daughter,
Katherine Elizabeth, on Tuesday May, 10, 2005¾a
beautiful, 5 pound stillborn daughter, born sleeping.
doctor confirmed there were no signs of umbilical cord
problems, Down Syndrome, birth defects, or any
complications. In complete shock, I can still hear his words
to us: “In 25 years delivering babies, this is only the
third case I’ve ever had. Perfectly normal.”
statistics are shocking for this type of death. There are
more than 35,000 babies ‘stillborn’ in the U.S. every year.
In just our state of Florida, there are approximately 1,600
‘Stillbirth protocols’, and the medical courtesies given to
mothers throughout Florida hospitals (or lack thereof)
dictate the parents may be given mementos such as the baby’s
“crib-card,” the wrist or ankle bands, or the handprints
associated with the birth of their baby. Yet parents of
stillborn babies check out of the hospital with empty arms,
broken hearts and sent home with deep wounds. It’s easy to
understand that any “tangible item” from these traumatic
events could be considered essential in the bereavement
first most perfect case of adding insult to injury has to be
this: Beth’s body was producing milk nearly two weeks
after we had Katherine cremated. The second most perfect
case most certainly is this: Shortly after picking up Katherine’s ashes
from the funeral home, I was shocked to learn that there
would be no “Birth Certificate” issued from the State of
told since there are no provisions for Birth Certificates “by law,” it is
simply “not done.” I was told I will receive a death
certificate for Katherine; but never a birth certificate! In
the State of Florida, my baby's birth never existed.
is a complete travesty and injustice to the people of Florida
and anyone in the United States.
endured the physical pain of natural childbirth alone--as
all mothers must do. I would have instantly suffered that
pain for her if it were scientifically possible. And I
repeatedly begged God during those dark 18 hours to give me
her pain. She endured unfathomable pain, incalculable
emotional damage, and even now, postpartum symptoms. Women
who give birth often do. Yet their agony is replaced by the
reward of having their child. But what about the silent
like my wife who get no reward?
Today, as I write to you, we have come to live with
the emotional trauma of our daughter’s death. While this
wound is fresh, we’ve come a long way. But we don’t
understand why the State of Florida, by self-omission,
refuses to officially acknowledge the birth of our daughter.
asking you to support a “Missing Angels Bill” for the
State of Florida. Under this bill, parents who lose a child
after 20 weeks of gestation would be given the option to
receive a “Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.”
this letter, the State of Texas has been the sixth state in
the United States to adopt such meaningful legislation,
following the states of Arizona, Utah, Indiana,
Massachusetts, and Michigan --
all which have recently already enacted “Missing Angels
Bills” into law.
According to the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of
Vital Statistics most current statistics (2003 Annual Report
Summary), the number of fetal deaths (stillbirths) in
Florida during 2003 was 1,604, up from 1,478 in 1996. Of all
Florida counties, Polk County ranked 5th during
2003 (50 deaths) and our county, Indian River, ranked 36th
my hope that Florida will quickly rise to the occasion,
follow Arizona’s lead, and meet the expectations of bereaved
parents who suffer such devastating losses. Perhaps one day
the state will deem it appropriate to acknowledge our
daughter Katherine and all of Florida’s stillborn children.
The fact is: they lived, they died, and that even in their
deaths, all of these children very much matter.
that you and your legislative aides have all the
information, I have enclosed several pages of information
regarding Arizona’s “Missing Angels Bill” for your
I will contact your office for an appointment to meet
with you regarding this, or if you have any further
questions prior, you may contact me at the below telephone
you for all that you do to help Florida families in
Proud Father of Katherine Elizabeth Logullo
(Born Sleeping on May 10, 2005)
P.S. I forgot to mention that the Florida “Missing
Angels Bill,” appeared during the 2003 Legislative
session (S0710, 3/5/03).
colleague, Senator Stephen R. Wise (District 5-R-Duval)
sponsored the bill, which passed unanimously 10-0 SENATE
Favorable by Health, Aging, and Long-Term Care; YEAS 10
NAYS 0 -SJ 00165.
“Missing Angels Bill” was then referred to a
subcommittee where nothing ever happened with it.
7/16/05 - Praise God for Friends!
Heard it said a million times:
it's who you know. And as luck would have it, some of Beth's old
girlfriends from south Florida decided to come for the day to visit.
They chose a local restaurant for lunch. Out of the blue, Beth
runs into old family friends from her hometown-- John and Sara Jane
were hanging out in Vero and picked the same restaurant the girls were
out! Imagine the odds? Here's the best part: Their son is
J.D. Alexander -- State Senator from Beth's hometown. Beth
says in passing, "Yeah, Daryl's working on something..." Sara
Jane replies, "Let us know what we can do or how we can help. We'll
do whatever we can. You know that."
a letter to write.
6/23/05 – Would Have Been Week 40 of Beth's Pregnancy. (Katherine's
Expected Due Date) Today is
a very hard day. It's the date Kate was supposed to be born. Beth's due
date. Today has also been a very slow day. But today is also
bittersweet and remarkable day for me, personally. I’ll tell you why in
80+ children in Day Four (4!) of VBS at the church, and every headache
imaginable. From kids saying they ate too much, to teenagers complaining
they’re bored and their parents are coming to pick them up – abandoning
her in her desperate need of volunteers to help with the kids.
tired, irritable, and won’t mind me sharing that she looks very, very
sad (because she is). She’s a great actress, but inside she’s not the
Beth we know. Plus it’s just a miserable day outside. Rain again. I
can’t remember the last time it rained so much during June. I feel it’s
God’s way of crying for me.
picked up Katherine’s cremains a few days back, it was a day just like
today with the weather. Grey, drizzle, everything wet and sticky humid.
The hardest part is that today was Beth's due date. The three of us know
how significant today is. But few do not. And life just ticks away
with its hectic, fleeting buzz, like I say. I wonder if I’ll ever get
over the fact that the world moves on while we both are grieving and
will always be remembering Kate?
wrote on the calendar in the kitchen on today’s date after we did the
first ultrasound (January). His handwriting in blue ink still says “Baby
Due.” And it’s still up there with all the other daily reminders we
write on the calendar like guitar lessons, baseball practices. It's the
little things that are hard. And sad.
I’m inspired today!! My ambition level is at a 15 on a scale of one to
ten! Speaking to
John Nevels in Texas by telephone and hearing his personal testimony
about losing two childen by miscarriage only after losing his 5 month
old son Bump to a stillbirth, makes me realize how lucky I am to have
have great, newfound respect for John. To think one man, with his
channeled passion and commitment to his wife and to his son and his
other kids' memories, could get legislation passed in such a massive
state as Texas is pretty inspiring to me.
John two gut wrenching years I learned after reading his journal and
visiting with him by phone. But he got it done—CBRS
is a reality in Texas today. And I’ve made my mind up: I’m going to
do the same thing for Florida.
very generous and quite gracious with his time when I called him. We
spoke for over 30 minutes and I shared with him my faith in Christ and
how God’s love was sustaining me. When John answered the phone, he told
me he was a dispatcher at work and would likely have to put me on hold
to grab the other lines ringing. Remarkably we didn’t get interrupted
once. Praise God! And thanks John!!
really took the time to listen. It was refreshing to have so much in
common with a perfect stranger. I also bet the thought entered his mind
after hearing how I wanted to change the ignorance in Florida, “I’ve
heard all this before,” although I know he’d never tell me that.
Probably hung up thinking to himself, “There goes another gung-ho
father dude going through this nightmare – we’ll see if he’s still so
fired up after he gets put the political-beauracracy ringer.”
gave me four (4!) invaluable "secrets," as I'll call them:
an online journal or blog or web site. So here it is! And use Senator
and State Representative names all over the thing. Vanity and human
interest being what it is, legislative aids keep there little eyes
peeled for their boss’ names using search engines. And from all the web
marketing I’ve done, I do know search engines like Yahoo and Google love
fresh content (like new postings onto a site packed with keywords, even
if they're Senators name.)
neutral. This isn’t some pro-life or right to life debate. It’s
about compassion, respect for parents. And expect to grit your teeth
over others aloofness and short-sightedness. People have their own dirty
little agendas in politics and try to sabotage things like turning the
compassionate human issue of CBRS into some some abortion or
you’re a constituent of everyone in office. You live in their
state. And before the bill, if you’re polite and persistent enough,
they’ll listen to you as a constituent. Position yourself this way. It’s
only after the bill is written do you go back to being a Florida
resources that you can attach to your own cause. Get creative. In my
case, both my brother and old Pastor are “constituents” of a Senator in
Jacksonville. So that means my daughter’s “Aunt & Uncle” have an
interest in this Senator. Who, so happens to have an interest in
sponsoring this Bill. Contact Legislative Aids for further background
it for now. Just you watch: Stay tuned and watch the smoke trails I
leave in Kate’s memory.
Florida State Capital -
Tallahassee - April 2006
Updates & Journal
June 6, 2006
Bill Signed into Law!
May 16, 2006
May 10, 2006
May 9, 2006
20, 2006 House
Approves Bill 118-0
April 7, 2006
April 6, 2006
Senate Approves Bill 39-0
April 5, 2006
April 4, 2006
House Cttee #4 results
March 31, 2006
March 29, 2006
March 28, 2006
March 23, 2006
March 20, 2006
House Cttee #3 results
March 16, 2006
March 10, 2006
March 8, 2006 House
Cttee #2 results
Senate Cttee #2
March 6, 2006
March 5, 2006
February 25, 2006
February 22, 2006
House Cttee #1
February 17, 2005
February 15, 2006
Senate Ctte #1
January 25, 2006
January 24, 2006
January 19, 2006
January 11, 2006
January 8, 2006
January 4, 2006
January 3, 2006
December 27, 2005
December 21, 2005
House Cttee Assign
December 14, 2005
Senate Cttee Assign
December 9, 2005
December 2, 2005
December 1, 2005
November 29, 2005
November 23, 2005
Bill Filed in Fla. House
November 19, 2005
Bill Filed in Fla Senate
September 29, 2005
September 27, 2005
September 26, 2005
September 19, 2005
September 8, 2005
August 17, 2005
August 1, 2005
July 16, 2005
June 23, 2005
The Bill's Committee
PASSED 9-0 - 2/15/06
PASSED 7-0 - 3/8/06
3. Health & Human
Health Care Reg.
PASSED 10-0 - 2/22/06
PASSED 7-0 - 3/8/06
3. Health Care
PASSED 13-0 3/20/06
4. Health & Families Council
PASSED 10-0 4/4//06
This web site is not affiliated, associated, recommended or
endorsed by the State of Florida or any Florida government
MISSing Angels Bill is associated with the M.I.S.S. Foundation.
Some of the correspondence posted on this site has been
edited due to length. ***
(Current or Pending)
Birth Resulting In Stillbirth"
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