Florida becomes first state to provide certificates for miscarriages

Gov. Rick Scott speaks during a pre-legislative news conference, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBS/AP) — Florida will become the first state to issue what’s essentially a birth certificate to women who’ve had miscarriages.

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Wednesday that will allow the state to start issuing “certificates of nonviable birth” beginning July 1.

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Under the Grieving Families Act, the state will issue the certificates only if parents request them.

It would be available to women whose pregnancies end after nine weeks and before 20 weeks of gestation.

Pregnancies that end at 20 weeks or later are considered stillbirths, and death certificates must be issued. Parents also may request a birth certificate in such cases.

Parents would be able to name the lost fetus on the new certificate.

The certificates will contain language that they’re not to be used as proof of a live birth.

Some pro-choice groups criticized the law, questioning whether the act is an attempt to define when life begins, CBS affiliate WTSP-TV reported. Lawmakers supporting the measure said the law was meant to give parents the ability to acknowledge their unborn baby and insisted it was nonpolitical.

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