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Bipartisan SHINE for Autumn Act Advances in the House

Shine for Autumn Act

Washington, D.C. — Last Wednesday, June 12th, the bicameral and bipartisan Stillbirth Health Improvement and Educations (SHINE) for Autumn Act,  H.R. 5012 /S. 2647 passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously (45-0) and currently awaits a vote on the House floor. The legislation is championed by Representatives Young Kim (CA-40), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Dave Joyce (OH-14), and Robin Kelly (IL-02), along with 90 U.S. Representatives.

SHINE is the first bill in U.S. history to provide a fully comprehensive strategy to address our country’s stillbirth crisis, which tragically accounts for the deaths of over 21,000 babies every year. Many stillbirths are preventable, at least 1 in 4, and occur in seemingly healthy low-risk pregnancies. In a global comparison, the U.S. ranked 160 out of 195 countries—with only 35 countries having made less progress in reducing stillbirth rates form 2000-2021. By focusing on improved data collection, education, awareness, and research the SHINE for Autumn Act aims to prevent future stillbirths and save more babies' lives.  

“After having four kids and now watching my children start families of their own, I have experienced and seen many challenges during pregnancy,” said Rep. Young Kim, co-chair of the Maternity Care Caucus. “Women, moms, and families deserve our bipartisan support. That’s why I’m proud to lead the SHINE for Autumn Act with my colleagues across the aisle and in the House and Senate to equip us with the resources to reduce stillbirths, strengthen our healthcare workforce, and foster healthy pregnancies. I thank the Energy and Commerce Committee for supporting this commonsense bill, and I’ll keep fighting to get this across the finish line.”

“Together, we can address the serious maternal and infant health crisis that is tearing families apart and causing significant pain and trauma,” said Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14). “Nearly one out of every four stillbirths are preventable, and Black women are more than twice as likely to experience stillbirth as White women. We need to act to dramatically improve outcomes for mothers and babies and address long-standing disparities among racial and ethnic groups. I trust that with the bipartisan work of my colleagues, Reps. Kim, Kelly, and Joyce, we will see the SHINE for Autumn Act signed into law. Wednesday’s vote was an important step forward toward that goal. I also want to thank Autumn’s mother, Debbie, who has turned her tragic death into a mission to increase stillbirth awareness and education and ultimately decrease the number of families who experience such a heartbreaking loss. She is a powerful advocate and force for positive change.”

“Stillbirth is a deeply painful experience for mothers and families. We can and must do more to mitigate the risk of stillbirth and offer support to those who have suffered such a traumatic loss,” said Rep. Robin Kelly, co-chair of the Maternity Care Caucus. “I’m proud to join my colleague and co-chair, Rep. Young Kim, to advance the bipartisan SHINE for Autumn Act, a policy that will give families the chance to thrive. Every mother deserves a healthy pregnancy and a happy life with her baby.”

“ACOG thanks the House Energy and Commerce Committee for considering the Stillbirth Health Improvement and Education (SHINE) for Autumn Act in today’s markup. ACOG is proud to endorse the SHINE for Autumn Act to advance needed research and standardize data collection on stillbirths in the United States,” said Stella Dantas, MD, FACOG, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). “Stillbirth prevention is a responsibility shared broadly and is a priority for ACOG and its member obstetrician-gynecologists across the country. Investments in research are critical to understanding the unexplained causes of stillbirth, including the racial and ethnic disparities in stillbirth rates that continue to devastate families and communities. We hope Congress will pass this important legislation expeditiously to bridge the gaps in stillbirth data, research, and education.”

"Last Wednesday’s markup signifies a pivotal milestone in our ongoing efforts to address the alarmingly high U.S. stillbirth rate," expressed Debbie Haine Vijayvergiya, Autumn’s mom. "I am profoundly grateful to the Energy and Commerce Committee for prioritizing stillbirth and acknowledging Autumn, alongside the years of dedication that have shaped this legislation. None of this would be possible without the unwavering commitment of SHINE’s sponsors and stillbirth champions, Representatives Kim, Castor, Joyce, and Kelly—they are my heroes. Witnessing the overwhelming support for SHINE fills me with hope for the future. And yet there is more work to be done; time is of the essence, and the need for action is urgent. Every day, the number of babies lost to stillbirth continues to rise. We have a responsibility to do more to improve outcomes for mothers and babies, and it starts with advancing SHINE to the House floor and securing its safe passage. As July approaches and Autumn’s 13th birthday draws near, I cannot envision a more meaningful gift for her than to have SHINE pass the House, once again.”

The SHINE for Autumn Act aims to bridge gaps in stillbirth data, research, and education with:

  • Grants to states to support data collection, assessment, and reporting on stillbirth and stillbirth risk factors;
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in coordination with health care providers, to develop guidelines and educational materials for state departments of health and statistics on stillbirth data collection, data sharing, and educational materials on stillbirth;
  • The incorporation of Perinatal Pathology Fellowship Program at the NIH to fund research fellowships on stillbirth, including research and training on fetal autopsies and improved education, research, and data collection.

The SHINE for Autumn Act is supported by 300+ organizations and academic institutions. Read the full list of endorsing organizations HERE. To learn more about the bill go to