Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn Introduces ‘Mickie Law’ to Protect Expecting Mothers’ Rights for Treatment to Remove Dead Fetus

New Law Would Defend NY as a Sanctuary Women’s right State

in Post-Roe v. Wade Era

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn (D-AD 42), has introduced “Mickie’s Law” (A10659) to ensure mothers who encounter fetal deaths get the treatment they need to remove a dead fetus, especially in the event of an emergency.

After the abolishment of Roe v. Wade, the standard of care for the removal of dead fetuses is being scrutinized, delayed, or even denied. Even in New York State, expectant mothers who experience a fetal death are not guaranteed timely access to the medical treatment they require to remove a dead fetus using procedures established in the public health code. 

The sweeping bill aims to amend public health law to require:

  • A timely procedure to remove a deceased fetus from the womb within 48 hours of notification.
  • Providers must notify patients within 24 hours after identifying the results of fetus or embryo death.
  • Referral of patients to another healthcare provider if not available to perform services.
  • Require a registry for facilities that perform such services.
  • Require OBGYN Residents to be fully trained and educated in these well-established and accepted procedures.

(Read the full text of “Mickie’s Law” – Assembly Bill A10659 – here.)

President Biden’s recent executive order requiring hospitals to provide abortions in medical emergencies despite state bans may be hard to enforce, legal experts have said. 

Combating high maternal mortality rates 

Carrying a dead fetus is not only extremely psychologically damaging for an expectant mother experiencing a grave traumatic loss, but also can be life-threatening. There’s a window of time before the decomposing fetus becomes toxic to the woman carrying it.  

This is a contributing factor to maternal mortality, which continues to increase in the united States. Alarmingly, Black women are three times more likely than White women to die from a pregnancy-related cause.

The bill is named Mickie’s Law in honor of the fetus loss of parents, who were denied removal treatment due to a hospital’s religious beliefs

While carrying the dead fetus, the parents searched for a hospital in New York before the decomposition became life-threatening.

“Many public hospitals in NY told them they’d have to wait 2-3 weeks. Fortunately, they got treatment in time, but many haven’t, with horrifying consequences,” said Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn, a current expectant mother.

Protecting women’s rights after the abolishment of Roe v. Wade 

“After the Supreme Court destroyed the protections of Roe v. Wade at a federal level, it is vital that Mickie’s Law codifies women’s health rights in New York State and doesn’t give leeway to more draconian restrictions,” said Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn.

The destruction of Roe v. Wade has left many providers with questions because any remains of a fetus – dead or viable – are considered an abortion under Federal Law. 

This is highlighted in the recent case of a Texas woman who was forced to carry her dead fetus for two weeks after being denied treatment due to anti-abortion laws.

The two established medical procedures to remove a dead fetus are similar to that of elective abortions, but instead of removing a viable fetus, they prevent possible health risks to the expectant.

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