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'This Morning' TV show, London, UK - 06 Feb 2018
Labour MP Sharon Hodgson spoke to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning about the pain she felt after being told her daughter, Lucy, would not be issued a death certificate after being born stillborn.
Sharon’s daughter Lucy was stillborn at 23.5 weeks, 20 years ago, but according to UK law, she officially ‘didn’t exist’.
Under UK law, parents are not given a birth or death certificate if the child is born stillborn before 24 weeks.
Now Sharon, who only spoke publicly about her ordeal for the first time in the House of Commons last week, is campaigning for a change in the law.
Opening up to Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on This Morning, Sharon explained why she is finally able to discuss her loss after spending years too overwhelmed with grief.
‘The amazing Kym Marsh in Coronation Street, last year was exactly my story and exactly my point around having a stillborn baby but just being the wrong side of that 24 weeks,’ she revealed on the show earlier today.
‘Finding out, to your horror, that when you are going through this awful trauma and holding this baby in your arms and coming to terms with the fact that the baby did not survive to take their first breath, [wearing] a little baby grow with a little hat on – I was told I wouldn’t have a birth certificate or death certificate. But the chaplain said I could have a funeral.’
She added: ‘These awful emotions that you can have a funeral for a baby that is classified as a miscarriage officially. It just seemed so wrong.
‘I just wanted to leave hospital… you go with a baby inside of you; you come out with an empty womb, empty arms, empty nursery and empty crib. They say what does it [a piece of paper] matter, but as Kym [Marsh] said, ‘It’s your family history’. It matters. You want to have something.’
Sharon received overwhelming support from viewers on Twitter and is now hoping her proposal will go to the House of Lords and be passed as law.
One viewer commented: ‘Behind this cause 100%. All parents deserve their child to be recognised. Whether 1 month or 9 months. Your baby is still your baby and should receive a birth certificate’.
While another added: ‘She did amazing, and you already do so much for this cause. Keep going it will happen’.