stillbirth  stillbirth 
Photo: Nov. 2004
(Daryl -- Matthew -- Beth,  2 mos. pregnant with Katherine)
Psalm 78:4



"Katherine's Law"

 Florida Stillbirth Legislation
"Certificate of Birth Resulting In Stillbirth"

"The Florida MISSing Angels Bill"

One Family's Effort To Change a State's Indifference.
In Memory of Katherine Elizabeth Logullo 
"An angel born sleeping" -- 5/10/05
stillbirth

 

6/9/06 - Governore Jeb Bush signed the bill into law at 1:15pm.


5/16/06 - The Media Clips Continue. Here's Another One...


New Florida law helps parents of stillborn babies


Katherine Logullo 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.

Katherine's father, Daryl Logullo, a Vero Beach consultant, says that six weeks after his daughter was stillborn, he was stunned to receive her fetal death certificate.

"I scratched my head and said where's the birth certificate?" said Logullo. "How can you have a death certificate without a birth certificate?"

According to 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 death certificate.

"Mother Nature slapped us in the face and the state of Florida slapped us even harder," said Logullo. "So I decided to turn something negative into something positive."

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 Logullo.

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 choice.

Nevertheless, pro-life supporters are heartened by the legislation.

"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."

The new 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.

While details 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, www.missingkate.org.

5/10/06 - Happy First Birthday Katherine!

Happy 1st Birthday Katherine!

Still Awaiting Formal Bill Signing Date

  • Bill Headed To Governor

  • Florida Senate Unanimously
    Passes 39-0!

  • Fla. House Passes 118-0

  • Bill Named "Katherine's Law"

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

Mr. Logullo,

A public signing for SB 746 has been requested by more than one member of the legislature and is on the Governor's radar.

As far as the status of the bill goes, I am your best point of contact.
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 will
receive the bill, but please feel free to email / call me at any time
for an update.

All the best to you and your family.

Nadia

Nadia Hagberg
Legislative Affairs Office
Executive Office of the Governor
 

4/28/06 - Article Today In Vero Beach Press Journal.


Birth certificates for stillborns bill should pass

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 children.

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.

"In the 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 Site.

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 weeks."

Rep. Planas said the bill would not have received the type of support it got in the House and Senate without the Logullos' efforts.

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 a name.

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 children.

• Florida House passed bill 118-0.

• Florida Senate approved 39-0.

• Gov. Jeb Bush expected to sign bill in early May.

• For more information visit www.missingkate.org.


4/21/06 - 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 Tallahassee
4/20
/06 - Bill Passes Fla. House of Representatives Unanimously 118-0. 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 9:00a-12:00p.

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 Speaker.

"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 shock...

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 vote!"

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 Tallahassee
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.

4/13/06 - Article In Today's Jacksonville Times-Union.

Parents of stillborn children may receive birth certificates

By MIKE GIMIGNANI
, The Times-Union
Thursday, April 13, 2006

TALLAHASSEE -- Out of the blue, Katherine just stopped moving in Beth Logullo's womb.

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 children.


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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 parents."

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."

Katherine's case 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, D-Alachua.

"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."

michael.gimignanijacksonville.com, (850) 224-7515, ext. 16

 

4/8/06 - 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 UNDECIDED

4/7/06 - 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 NOW!

Updated: 4:29pm
4/6
/06 - AP Story "Roundup" Today Carried Nationally. 

The day in Tallahassee, Thursday, April 6, 2006
By The Associated Press
STILLBORNS

Parents are a step closer to getting birth certificates for their stillborn children, as the Senate approved the "Missing Angels" bill Wednesday.

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 therefore unrelated.

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 deliver them.
 

Updated: 11:03am
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...

From:  CHRISTINE RAGLE
Date:  2006/04/06 Thu PM 12:39:43 EDT
To:  Daryl & Beth Logullo

My hearts and prayers go out to you.  I too lost my son into the 8th month of my pregnancy.  He was born still on 11/26/2005.  We didn't receive a birth certificate either.  I commend you on your actions...and I pray that you get the birth certificate that you very much deserve.  I only wish I were as strong as you guys are and do something about it in my own state.  Please stay strong!

 
Christine R.
Mommy2threebutterfliesand1princess
Kaytlin (4years old)
Hendryx Austyn (11/26/2005)Born still 8months 4days
Cylas Ayden (10/2004)m/c
Presley Allessandra (10/00)m/c
 

 
From:  Barbara Perdomo
Sent:  2006/04/06 Thu AM 09:57:00 EDT

Thank you for wishing my baby boy Jaden a Happy B'Day, born asleep 3/25/05. 

I am so glad you are making the progress you are. I am writing to you with tears streaming down my face, what you are doing strikes such a cord, only someone who has gone through this type of tragedy can understand the burning pain one has to endure.  I have been blessed once again, I am 20 weeks along in my pregnancy but not a day goes by where I don't think about my baby boy... 

I thank you for all the efforts you are making for all our babies in heaven.  May the Lord continue to guide you thru... I am sure you have many such as myself that will follow you through every step of the way.  God Bless you!

My husband Angel, my son, Daren (age 11) and I thank you from our hearts.

Barbara Perdomo
Miami, Florida

 

From: MCCREADY.MEGAN.S25
Sent:  April, 6, 2006   11:28AM

Beth & Daryl,

Thank you for all of your efforts to change the way the State of Florida
see babies like Katherine. She won't be forgotten.
Please know you have a friend in the Senate.

Warm regards,

Megan

Megan T. McCready
Legislative Aide
Senator Jeff Atwater
Senate District 25

824 US Hwy 1; Suite 210
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
561.625.5101
561.625.5103 FAX

 

4/5/06 - 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:

  • Birth is a process; life or death is an outcome. Do NOT deny a woman's action. Recognize what she did.

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 Bill."

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 (Second Reading).

4/4/06 - Final House Committee (Health & Families Council) Approves Bill Unanimously 10-0.  Bill Amended;  To Be Named "Katherine's Law"

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 denominator:

  • UNANIMOUS VOTES in FAVOR of the bill. Not a single vote against the bill by any of 7 separate committees, and over 50 separate legislators. Truly miraculous.

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.


Sylvia       |  Daryl   |      Beth

Click Here To Tell The Entire 40 Person Fla. Senate
To Vote For This Bill!

3/31/06 - 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 next?

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 Florida Senate!!)

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:

From:  Suebod
Date:  2006/03/28 Tue PM 03:15:58 EST
Subject:  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 now counseling
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 certificate, she
wanted a birth certificate. She got neither, and ended up with much
counseling and a 30+ year ache in her heart.

We are looking forward to healing deep wounds and if necessary, helping
others get through this traumatic time intact.

Thank you for the work you do,

Sue Bodishbaugh
Stepmother of Jonathon Conlee Bodishbaugh
Friend of Sarah Natalia Salsano
Tampa, FL
 

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 House Committee) 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:

-----Original Message-----
From: Benson, Holly
To: Logullo, Charlotte M.
CC: Planas, JC
Sent: Thu Mar 23 17:43:01 2006
Subject: RE: HB 439

Ms. Logullo--

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.

Holly Benson
 

3/20/06 - House Health Care Appropriations Passes "MISSing Angels Bill" Unanimously 13-0! 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.

This trip 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 first.

"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 Here

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 Committee.

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"
Unanimously. (7-0)!;  Senate Judiciary  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 find another story in more than 15 Florida papers today:

State Might Create Birth Certificates For Stillborn Babies

10:23 pm EST March 8, 2006
 
Florida is two steps closer to creating birth certificates for stillborn babies after lawmakers unanimously approved the "Missing Angels" bill in two committees Wednesday.

"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 Vero Beach.

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 year.

"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.

Logullo has 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 Wednesday.

"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 termination.

 

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 announced today -- 1,500 feet to the north of the Florida Senate. Ever heard the saying, 'gotta be in two places at the same time?'
http://www.MissingKate.org/house.htm

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 do:
http://www.MissingKate.org/senatecall.htm

2/25/06- Associated Press Article Runs In 15 Different Florida Papers.


Birth certificates proposed for some stillborn babies

Feb., 25, 2006
BY ANDREA FANTA
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TALLAHASSEE -- 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 and sleeping."

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 none.

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 Wednesday.

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"
Unanimously. (10-0)!
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 genuinely from 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 wondering?

Here Is What Happens Next

2/17/06 - 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.

I 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 Wednesday testifying. 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.

As 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 tragedy.

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 my speech.

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..
 

1/25/06 -- Sen. Ken Pruitt (Pt. St. Lucie) Agrees to Co-Sponsor. Today our dear friend Kara Macsuga received this wonderful email:

---Original Message-----
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

Dear Kara,

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
certificate.

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.

Sincerely,

Ken Pruitt

1/24/06 -- 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:

Date:  2006/01/23 Mon AM 10:23:30 EST
Subject:  Rep.Gus Bilirakis as co-sponsor!!!
 
Hi Daryl and Beth,
 
My phone conversation with Rep. Bilirakis went extremely well this morning!  He was very sensitive, concerned and helpful. He said that he fully supports the bill and will be a co-sponsor and will certainly vote yes in the committee. He also said the he would talk to Rep. Planas this week and make sure things are preceding strongly in the right direction.
 
Working hard for our children,
Stasi
1/19/06 -- 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:
---Original Message-----
From: Sen. Jeff Atwater
Sent: Wed 1/18/2006 11:55 PM
To: Alex Macsuga
Cc: MCCREADY.MEGAN.S25@flsenate.gov
Subject: Re: Florida Missing Angels Bill - Senate Bill 746

Alex,

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.

Jeff

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).
1/11/06 - 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:  "MUCCI.APRIL.S15" <MUCCI.APRIL.S15@flsenate.gov> 
Date:  2006/01/11 Wed AM 10:03:19 EST
Subject:  Florida Missing Angels Bill
 

Daryl,

Let me first commend you for already being so successful in your push for this legislation. I have read through your website and journal entries-- you have a well-organized movement going. Senator Dockery has signed on as a co-sponsor to the bill and will encourage her fellow Senators to do the same. Best of luck to you and your family as you continue on this important journey!

April Mucci
Legislative Assistant to Senator Paula Dockery
(850) 487-5040

mucci.april@flsenate.gov

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.

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.


1/3/06 -- Personal Email Appeal Made Sent by Rep. Planas' Office To His Colleagues!
From: del Cerro, Juan
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 1:58 PM
To: !HSE All House LAs
Subject: HB 439

Friends,

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season.

I am writing to ask for your respective offices' support of HB 439, related to "Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth".  Essentially, what the bill does is provide a birth certificate to the parents of a child who is stillborn.   Currently, a certificate of death is provided, but not a certificate of birth.  Many parents who have been put in this unfortunate situation have come to us asking for help, and I understand some of your offices are receiving letters regarding the topic. 

I ask that you please speak to your bosses about possibly co-sponsoring this bill. Thank you in advance, and I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Sincerely,

 
Juan A. del Cerro
Office of State Representative J.C. Planas
Florida House of Representatives
District 115
Miami - 305-442-6800
Tallahassee - 850-488-3616

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 today.

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 good ally.

12/1/05 - Working Fast With A Lot of Passion. 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 letter above. 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! Rep J.C. 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:
 

September 27, 2005

Mr. Juan A. del Cerro
c/o The Honorable Rep. J.C. Planas
Florida House of Representatives
Suite 280
8532 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33144

RE:   House Sponsor -- “Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth”
        (Florida MISSing Angels Bill)

Dear Mr. del Cerro,

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 long.

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 from you,
DTL

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 this page http://www.flhouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/representatives.aspx

9/19/05 - 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!

September 19, 2005

Mr. Aaron Nevins
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 legislation.

To repeat: We need a House sponsor for our 2006 bill, currently being written in Tallahassee and sponsored by Senators Wise and Senator Haridopolos.

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.

Respectfully,
DTL

**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 this page.

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 happier.

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. Wise, Sen. J.D. Alexander, and Rep. Baxter Troutman. I faxed him this note:

August 31, 2005

The Honorable Senator Mike Haridopolos
c/o The Florida Senate
2955 Pineda Causeway
Suite 215
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 Troutman.

I’ll let you know what we hear, and please do the same.

Respectfully,

DTL

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 to the 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:

August 17, 2005

The Honorable Senator Stephen R. Wise
Mr. Steven Richardson
c/o The Florida Senate
1460 Cassat Avenue, Suite B
Jacksonville, Florida 32205

RE:    Proposed Florida Legislation – “Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth”   (Florida MISSing Angels Bill)

Dear 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 thoughts:

1.      “Certificate of 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.

2.
      “Stillbirth” 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 this.

3.
      “Notification 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?

4.
      “Child’s name 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.

5.
      “Filing CBRS 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 “actual” birth.

6.
      “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. 

Respectfully,

DTL
 

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.

8/1/05 - Mailed Letter to Florida State Senator J.D. Alexander. Here's the 4 page letter I sent via Certified U.S. Mail today.

August 1, 2005 

The Honorable Senator J.D. Alexander
Florida Senate
122 East Tillman Ave. Suite 1
Lake Wales, FL 33853

Dear Senator Alexander,

My wife, Beth, and I are in great need of your help. So are many, many Floridian mothers, fathers, grandparents and families.

As a 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.

About a year ago, in October 2004 we were overjoyed to learn that we would be expecting our second child in June 2005. Although 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.

On 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 longer alive.

It’s 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.

Later 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.

The 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.”

The 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 every year.

‘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 process.

The 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 Florida. None.

I was 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.

This is a complete travesty and injustice to the people of Florida and anyone in the United States.

My wife 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 births-women 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.

I am 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.”

As of 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 (6 deaths).

It is 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.

So 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 review.

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 number.

Thank you for all that you do to help Florida families in Tallahassee.

Respectfully,  

Daryl T. Logullo
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).

Your 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.

The “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 Alexander.

They 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."

I've got 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 a sec.

Beth has 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.

She’s 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.

When we 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? 

Matt 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.

No less, 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 Matthew.

I also 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.

It took 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.

John was 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!!

He 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.”

John gave me four (4!) invaluable "secrets," as I'll call them:

1.    Create 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.)

2.    Stay 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 right-to-life squawk.

3.    Realize 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 resident!

4.    Use 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 and information.

That's 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 Entries

June 6, 2006   Bill Signed into Law!
May 16, 2006
May 10, 2006   Katherine's First Birthday!
May 9, 2006

April 28, 2006

April 21, 2006
April 20, 2006  House Approves Bill 118-0

April 13, 2006

April 8, 2006

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 results

March 6, 2006

March 5, 2006

February 25, 2006

February 22, 2006  House Cttee #1 results

February 17, 2005

February 15, 2006  Senate Ctte #1 results

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

November 8, 2005

September 29, 2005

September 27, 2005

September 26, 2005

September 19, 2005

September 8, 2005

August 31, 2005

August 17, 2005

August 11, 2005

August 1, 2005

July 16, 2005

June 23, 2005

The Bill's Committee History

Fla. Senate Bill   SB746
1. Health Care    
PASSED 9-0 - 2/15/06

2. Judiciary         
PASSED 7-0 - 3/8/06

3. Health & Human Services
 
WAIVED - 3/29/06

Fla. House Bill   HB439
1. Health Care Reg.   
PASSED 10-0 - 2/22/06
2. Governmental         
PASSED 7-0 - 3/8/06

3. Health Care Approp.   
PASSED 13-0 3/20/06   

4. Health & Families Council

PASSED 10-0 4/4//06
         

Note: This web site is not affiliated, associated, recommended or endorsed by the State of Florida or any Florida government agency. The MISSing Angels Bill is associated with the M.I.S.S. Foundation.
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*** Some of the correspondence posted on this site has been edited due to length. ***

Other Legislation (Current or Pending)
"Certificate of Birth Resulting In Stillbirth"

 

Helpful Info
Causes of Stillbirth Death
Infant Death Statistics - U.S. CDC

 

Links | Friends |  Resources
Angels In Heaven
Alliance of Grandparents, A Support In Tragedy
A Place to Remember
Bracelets of Hope
Born Angels
Born Still            
Compassionate Friends - Stillbirth
Empty-Cradles
FirstCandle.org           
Forgotten Grief           

Healing Heart.net       
Honored Babies.org    
International Stillbirth Alliance
Infants Remembered In Silence - IRIS   March of Dimes - Stillbirth
M.E.N.D.
M.I.S.S. Foundation
MissingGrace.org         
Mom Study
National Share Office
National Stillbirth Society      
Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support