Media Release 27 May 2020
Family First NZ today called on politicians in a select committee to amend a private members bill which allows for bereavement leave for a miscarriage to be extended to allow support for women with post-abortion grief.
The wording of the previous proposed legislative change was that leave would be available when there had been an “unplanned death of a foetus”. This has now been changed to “unplanned end of a pregnancy by miscarriage or still-birth” in order to exclude a woman who has had an abortion. When lodging the original bill, Labour MP Ginny Anderson said, “I think [abortion] would be [grounds], but I would like this Member’s Bill to pass.”
“We absolutely support this bill but request that it be extended to cover post-abortive women. That’s because we believe that all women matter. And that all loss should count. Just as the loss and grief experienced by parents as a result of miscarriage absolutely deserves recognition, so too does the loss and grief resulting from abortion which is experienced by many women. Women are being persuaded to believe that an abortion is not a loss of life – but that is certainly not the experience of many post-abortive women, and their loss should not be ignored,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Bereavement leave for both miscarriages (often referred to by medical specialists as ‘spontaneous abortion) and abortions would allow women the opportunity to seek the support and counselling that they may need at this time. We should never under-estimate the grief and loss that a woman personally experiences from either a miscarriage or an abortion.”
“The abortion bill currently before Parliament makes no provision for this issue at all.”
Marina Young, founder of the Buttons Project and spokesperson for Family First NZ says:
“I would like it to be extended to cover those that have had an abortion. Their grief and loss needs to be validated too, because there can be many factors that surrounds one’s decision to have an abortion. Post abortive women need to know that it is okay to seek help and take time to grieve, and to allow their body to heal. Because all women matter.”
“I ask that we walk gently in people’s lives, as we do not know the journey that they have been on to lead them to where they are at this moment, and allow post abortive women’s grief and loss to be acknowledged.”