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Support for Infants Bill launched to provide support for parents and carers of children

An MP has launched a Bill to require the publishing of information regarding support available for parents and carers who look after children.

The Support for Infants Bill, presented by MP for Hastings and Rye, Sally-Ann Hart, received its First Reading in the House of Commons earlier this week. The details of the Bill have not yet been published but according to the ‘Long title’ of the Bill, it will “require the provision of information relating to support available for parents and carers of infants for the purpose of supporting those infants”.

In addition to this, the Bill will require the Government to “publish an annual report on the support available for infants and the impact that that support has had on outcomes for infants and children”.

Bills for a more pro-life culture

There have been a handful of Bills in recent years that aim to provide support in different ways for families with children. Earlier this year the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023 became law after being passed by both houses of Parliament.

The Act intends to provide support for parents who have sick or premature babies. It would entitle parents whose baby had spent at least seven consecutive days in hospital within their first month of life outside of the womb to a statutory pay of £156.66 a week or 90% of their average earnings for up to 12 weeks. This would be in addition to any other maternity or paternity pay to which the parents are entitled.

The Bill was introduced by Conservative peer, Baroness Wyld, and SNP MP, Stuart McDonald in June last year and seeks to ensure that parents of sick and premature babies are able to spend time with their baby rather than being forced to return to work due to financial constraints.

The Universal Credit (Removal of Two Child Limit) Bill was also launched in 2022 to “remove the limit on the number of children or qualifying young persons included in the calculation of an award of universal credit”. The Bill ran out of time and will not proceed further.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said “While it is important that legislation tackles our deeply unjust abortion laws, Bills that attempt to improve the situation of families and children, are a small step in the right direction towards creating a more pro-life culture”.

“Pressure to have an abortion is a real phenomenon. A Savanta ComRes poll commissioned by the BBC shows that 15% of women experienced ‘pressure to terminate a pregnancy’ when they did not want to and 5% of women experienced ‘physical violence with intention to force a miscarriage / end a pregnancy’.”

“Bills that attempt to lessen the conditions that make this pressure more likely will hopefully lead to fewer cases of women being coerced into abortion”.

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