All Things Considered

Minnesota mom hopes federal stillbirth law will protect others from grief

Family poses for portrait
Amanda Duffy with her husband, Chris, and their children. Duffy says their family makes an effort to include the pictured gray stuffed elephant in photos to represent Reese, their stillborn daughter.
Courtesy of Amanda Duffy

A bill to prevent stillbirths is headed to President Biden's desk after passing the U.S. Senate.

If signed into law, The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act would allocate millions of federal dollars to prevent stillbirths, defined by the Centers for Disease Control as the loss of a baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Every year in the United States, more than 20,000 pregnancies end in a stillbirth, and experts say a quarter of those could be prevented.

Amanda Duffy, a Twin Cities mother who has had a daughter that was stillborn, has lobbied in Washington D.C. for the measure to be signed into law. Duffy was also instrumental in getting the Fetal Movement Education Bill (Senate File 1303) passed for the state of Minnesota this last session under the omnibus bill.

Duffy joined MPR News host Tom Crann on All Things Considered to discuss the developments on Capitol Hill.

“Before my daughter Reese was stillborn in Nov. 2 of 2014, it was just 16 hours before my scheduled C-section with her. And before that, I had no idea that stillbirth was so common,” Duffy said.

“My life changed forever. And I knew that if there was anything that could be done to help prevent something like this for other families to experience, I was going to have to do it because I didn’t want anyone else to have to feel like this and to leave the hospital without one of their babies.”

To hear the full interview with Amanda Duffy, click play on the player above.