Write to Congress

Your letters to elected officials can help effect change. Legislators rely on letters to learn what their constituents care about. And making contact with your elected officials through letters is a good way for you to begin an ongoing relationship. Click here to find your representative, or visit Congress.org, a useful resource for civic participation.

Here is a sample letter

Dear Senator or Representative:

I would like to share my story with you to encourage your support for funding to the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development for research into the causes of stillbirth.

Insert your story here.  Be specific and don't be afraid of emotion.
Here's an example:

I loved being pregnant with my first child, Sophia. My husband and I did everything right. Ate the healthiest foods; read about pregnancy, birth and child-rearing; and attended every prenatal visit.  Every evening we dreamt about our future life with our new baby.

Then, without warning, our dream became a nightmare. At my 40-week appointment, there was no heartbeat. Our baby had died. The next 48 hours were the longest of our lives as I labored to deliver Sophia. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, but could not bring her home. Our grief was overwhelming.  We felt empty and lost, without hope and without answers.

You may think that this is an unusual story in the United States, but it's not. Each year, more than 26,000 pregnancies end in stillbirth—which the NIH defines as the death of a baby after at least 20 weeks in the womb. A family suffers every 21 minutes. Despite this staggering statistic there has been little research into the causes of stillbirth.

As a member of Congress, you face difficult choices in the budget development process. Please, do not sacrifice scientific research. Ideally, you would increase funding to NICHD; at a minimum, maintain funding at its current level. No family should ever endure what my family did, and it is only through increased research that the causes of stillbirth will be discovered. And, that discovery will lead to the development of novel interventions to prevent stillbirth.

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