Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Friday, 8 October 2021) . . Page.. 2990 ..


When families experience pregnancy or infant loss there are a number of support services available to them, and Minister Rattenbury has detailed those. We want to emphasise, through you, Madam Speaker, to anyone listening or who may listen, that even if you may feel alone in your grief, be it in the immediate aftermath of the loss or years down the track, you are not alone, and the ACT government and all members in this place and the community stand with you.

I pay tribute to Bonnie Carter, a fierce advocate for breaking the taboo around pregnancy loss. She and her husband, Steve, raised money to improve the look and feel of the Fetal Medicine Unit bereavement suite. She raised with me the need for the commemorative certificates and has generously shared her time, experience and expertise to make these certificates a reality. She has worked tirelessly to ensure that we appropriately recognise Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in Canberra and around the world. I am sure that there are countless other things that she does as well that I am not aware of, because she is an absolute force.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is a day for us to acknowledge and reflect on the impact of pregnancy and infant loss in our community. This loss has significant visible and hidden impacts on parents and loved ones. They can last a lifetime.

I finish by saying something directly, through you, Madam Speaker, to all those who have been impacted by pregnancy and infant loss, whether parents, siblings, friends, grandparents or colleagues. Your grief is real, your grief is valid, your grief is justified and your grief is respected. With this motion, we pause to acknowledge the magnitude of this loss and the impact it has on our ACT community and we pay our respects to all those who have been impacted by pregnancy and infant loss.

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (12.01): There is a unique pain when you lose someone that you have never met. It is a pain that many families know, and it is a pain that many families experience alone. One in five women have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth or within one month of birth. Out of the one in four pregnancies that end in miscarriage, that figure is speculated to be even higher, given that many women experience an early loss without realising that they are pregnant.

In February this year the Australian parliament formally recognised 15 October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. The numbers are clear, and they are sobering: over 100,000 miscarriages each year and almost 3,000 lives lost due to stillbirth or newborn death. The most shocking part of these truly stark numbers is that they have not moved in two decades. Each and every one of these losses represents thousands of families who are left devastated, left to grieve. For too long we have been too scared, too embarrassed or too ashamed to speak up about these losses—our losses.

I know that recognising 15 October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day will not miraculously provide answers to the thousands of grieving families about why and how we can make sure that other families do not experience the same


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video