Each year, approximately one million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of a newborn baby and Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre has authored a concurrent resolution mourning these deaths. SCR 25, co-authored by Rep. Mike Shelton, also designates October 15, 2007 as "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day" in Oklahoma.
"Losing a child is such a traumatic experience for families regardless of which phase they are in their lives. It's still a loss of life and it's devastating," said Eason McIntyre, D-Tulsa. "This resolution is our way of showing those families that we care, and that they're in our thoughts and prayers."
Recognition of October 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day has garnered supports from all levels of government. Governors from all 50 states have signed proclamations designating the special day. Many state legislatures have passed concurrent resolutions; and on September 28, 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HCR 222 also recognizing the day of remembrance.
The senator explained that officials hope to achieve many goals by having such a day. The first and foremost goal is have information and support available to families who suffer from pregnancy and infant loss. Second, it will help inform and educate the public so they can better learn how to respond with compassion. Finally, it will enable professional to better serve these families.
"It is our hope that this day of remembrance will provide some comfort for these hurting families," said Eason McIntyre. "By designating a day, it will also help communities raise awareness about these tragedies and help them consider how, as individuals and communities, they can meet the needs of bereaved mothers, fathers, and family members as well as work to prevent the causes of these deaths."
The senator was joined on the floor by Ronda Lawmaster and Erica Blystone who requested the resolution to help raise awareness of infant loss in the state and the impact it has on Oklahoma families. Their husbands T.C. Lawmaster and Dan Blystone were in the gallery.