Last night, parliament unanimously passed a bill that will allow people to take three days bereavement leave following a miscarriage or stillbirth.
The Member’s Bill was introduced by Hutt South MP Ginny Anderson. It provides three days of bereavement leave after a pregnancy ends as a result of a miscarriage or stilllbirth.
The new legislation applies to mothers and their partners, as well as parents planning to have a baby through other means, such as adoption or surrogacy.
In the third reading of the bill, Anderson said “At a time when a woman is dealing with the physical and emotional loss that comes with the unexpected end of a pregnancy, there is still stigma in New Zealand today around asking for help.”
“I hope that this bill promotes openness in our society around pregnancy, stillbirth and miscarriages. We should not be fearful of our bodies or shroud them in mystery. It is simply part of life.”
Aotearoa is the second country in the world to provide leave for miscarriage and stillbirth. The move was first implemented in the Philippines last year.
"The passing of this bill shows that once again New Zealand is leading the way for progressive and compassionate legislation.”
"The bill will give women and their partners time to come to terms with their loss without having to tap into sick leave. Because their grief is not a sickness, it is a loss. And loss takes time."