Sharon Hodgson speech

There wasn’t a dry eye in the House of Commons as Labour MP gave this moving speech about her stillborn daughter

Labour MP Sharon Hodgson delivered this incredibly moving speech this week and fought back tears to describe what happened when her third child Lucy was born.

The MP for Washington and Sunderland West described how if her stillborn daughter had been born alive “she would have had a birth certificate, she would have been celebrating her 20th birthday this year.

“But sadly she was stillborn so there was no flashing blue lights, no incubator and no birthday parties ever and, as I found out to my horror, no birth or death certificate.”

During a parliamentary debate on the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill, the Labour MP spoke in support of the clauses which will introduce formal recording of stillborn babies born before 24 weeks’ gestation and giving coroners the power to investigate late stage stillbirths.

Sharon Hodgson told how she had to watch a previous Commons debate on stillborn children on TV, fearing she would break down in tears, explaining: “I still find it very difficult even now all these years later to even talk about it.”

She later posted the full emotive speech, adding: “This is something I have experienced personally, and felt it was of huge importance to support this Bill to raise my own experiences after the birth of my daughter, Lucy, who sadly arrived into the world stillborn.

“I hope that this helps other parents out there who face this same tragedy and that this legislative change is brought in, so that no stillborn baby before 24 weeks is ever made to not exist officially.”

Sharon Hodgson MP Civil Partnerships (Etc) Bill 02.02.18

Today I delivered what was the most difficult speech I have given in the House of Commons during my 13 years as a Member of Parliament. I spoke in Tim Loughton MP's Private Members Bill on Civil Partnerships (Etc.) Bill, specifically on the measures proposed around the registration of stillborn babies before the 24-week gestation threshold. This is something I have experienced personally, and felt it was of huge importance to support this Bill to raise my own experiences after the birth of my daughter, Lucy, who sadly arrived into the world stillborn. I hope that this helps other parents out there who face this same tragedy and that this legislative change is brought in, so that no stillborn baby before 24 weeks is ever made to not exist officially.

Posted by Sharon Hodgson on Friday, 2 February 2018

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