Mothers Have the Right to Save Their Placenta
-HB 1670 will allow women to keep their placenta from ANY Texas hospital or birthing center
-No court order, or special release will be required
-The new law will go into effect January 1, 2016, to allow hospitals time to revise their protocol
-For placenta release June-December 2015, the current hospital release policies will be in effect
Texas women can now have their baby, and keep their placenta too. HB 1670, known as the Texas Placenta Bill, passed in the Senate on May 26, 2015, with unanimous support (31-0). The new bill will be signed by Governor Greg Abbott by mid-June. The new law will allow mothers to keep their placenta after the birth of their baby in any Texas hospital or birthing center.
The new law will go into effect January 1, 2016, and is a major win for personal liberty, informed consent and choice for Texas women.
Currently, Texas classifies placentas as medical waste, and every hospital in Texas has their own individual policy regarding the release of placentas. This policy differs drastically, even among hospitals in the same city. Some hospitals simply require the mother to sign a release of liability form, and others require an expensive, and time consuming court order signed by a judge. Placentas may be released to a funeral home, since the placenta is considered an organ. Some hospitals simply refuse to release the placenta all together.
Many women and families choose to retain their placenta after birth for various reasons. Some women choose to consume their placenta, most often in a dehydrated encapsulated pill form, after birth to help in their postpartum recovery. This practice helps replenish the iron and hormones that are lost after birth, which helps the mother recover both emotionally and physically. Families also retain their placenta to plant a tree in honor or memory of their baby, or part of a ceremonial practice.
The origin of this bill began after Melissa Mathis, a Dallas resident, was denied the right to her placenta after delivering her baby at Baylor University Medical Center in April 2014. During November election campaigning, Representative Kenneth Sheets literally came knocking on her front door. When Mathis answered the door, Sheets asked if there were any issues she was concerned about that he could address. She told him the story of her placenta, and the lack of personal liberty she first-hand experienced. Sheets listened, and took action. A few months later HB 1670 was drafted and filed in February 2015.
Mathis created a grass roots campaign to build awareness for HB 1670. The Facebook group Pass the Placenta! (HB 1670) was created in March with regular posts on the status of the bill, and how women and families across Texas could take action to support the bill. Within a few short months, the group has more than 500 active members. Through the dedicated efforts of the authors of this bill, committee members, Representative Sheets and his staff, and the wide-spread community support, HB 1670 passed in the Texas House of Representatives on May 13, and passed in the Senate on May 26, 2015.
The passing of this bill is significant for women’s rights in Texas. Regardless of what any woman wants to do with her placenta, after the birth of her baby is now her choice.
Thanks to Amy Tucker for guest writing this post.
Amy Tucker is a PBi Placenta Encapsulation Specialist® and proprietor of Mama Peace – Austin Placenta Encapsulation and Postpartum Doula.