Texas father makes case for insurance coverage for burial of fetal remains

After losing a child to a miscarriage and not being able to afford a burial, a Texas father is trying to change state law on how fetal remains are handled.

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Glynn Wilcox, of Dallas, told WFAA-TV that about a year and a half ago he and his wife were looking forward to the arrival of their daughter, Elisabeth. In December 2017, however, the two were devastated to learn doctors couldn't detect the baby's heartbeat. Elisabeth would be stillborn.

“I remember hanging up the phone with her and collapsing on the floor,” Wilcox said.

The grieving parents were told that Elisabeth’s body would be treated as medical waste or put into a common grave, unless they could afford a private funeral, he said.

"We called our life insurers and they're like, 'She's not a covered entity because she never drew a breath and wasn't out of the womb for 24 hours. There's nothing we can do for you,'" Wilcox said. "It's really hard for most people to come out of pocket and pay for an entire funeral. We thought we were protected."

The couple was able to raise $6,200 through GoFundMe to bury their daughter in a cemetery.

Now, Wilcox wants to prevent other grieving parents from being in the same situation. He’s supporting House Bill 4420, which would make insurance coverage mandatory for the "disposition of embryonic and fetal tissue."

The bill was introduced last month by state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas. Wilcox said he plans to testify to the Legislature in support of the bill.

“If you don’t have the means or people to help you with that and that is literally your only option, that makes grieving worse,” Wilcox said.

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