Right To Rest In Peace

Complied by Cecelia McGregor, RN, BSN, CCM
by Wendy Ponte, Mothering Magazine

The Right to Rest in Peace
From an email dated Wed, 05 Sep 2001

Hello Everyone.

I’m writing to share excellent news about the legislation that I have been lobbying for in Illinois, on behalf of parents who experience the death of a baby. Below is a recent article from Mothering Magazine that summarizes the legislation. I am also including the web site to access the text of the bill, if you are interested. The State of IL web site address where the bill is posted is:

Governor George Ryan signed the bill on August 15, 2001.

Thanks to all of you for your ongoing support and prayers. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Representative Skip Saviano, the sponsor of the bill, as well as the National Share Office.

If anyone would like assistance in pursuing similar legislation in your own state, please feel free to contact me. My email address is McGregorBSM@hotmail.com.

Cecelia McGregor, RN, BSN, CCM
Coordinator Illinois Bereavement Support Movement


The Right to Rest in Peace, By Wendy Ponte
Bulletins - Good News about Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting from Mothering Magazine -
excerpted from September/October, 2001 Issue

This May, Illinois joined a handful of states with laws proclaiming a parent's right to bury a miscarried baby. HB0382, a Parent's Right to Fetal Burial Bill, was initiated by Cecilia McGregor of Minooka, Illinois, after her own 1998 miscarriage. Defined as a loss prior to 20 weeks gestation, a miscarried fetus does not receive any kind of funeral rights in a hospital, unlike stillborn babies. McGregor found this out when her baby lost its heartbeat at only ten weeks and she had a D & C. After the procedure, her questions about the disposal of her baby's remains were, at first, ignored. Finally, she was told
the fetus would be buried by the hospital. In reality, the fetus's body had an all too common fate: it was dumped, along with medical waste, in the hospital's incinerator.

Why has fetal burial become such an important issue for parents?

"Families are bonding earlier with babies . . . Because of that bonding process, many acknowledge this is a baby much earlier," according to Cathi Lammert, the executive director of the National SHARE office, a nonprofit organization that assists families that have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth. She says families that have a ceremony or otherwise respectfully dispose of a fetus are better able to reach closure and move through the grieving process.

Parent's Right to Fetal Burial passed unanimously in both the Illinois Senate and House. "One little baby can make a difference across a state and maybe across a nation," says McGregor of the impact her miscarriage has had on the law.

South Dakota, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Minnesota are among the states that already have variations of this legislation in place. Several other states including Kentucky, Michigan, Colorado, and Missouri are reviewing similar bills.

For additional information see
or call the National SHARE office at 800-821-6819.


This page is dedicated to
Dakota and Angelica Rose


Author Biographies
Cecelia McGregor resides in Illinois and is the mother of Angelica Rose, who died during the 10th week of pregnancy in May of 98. Her email address is McGregorBSM@hotmail.com.

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