The Government will introduce a pregnancy loss certificate for those who lose their babies before the 24th week of gestation.
As part of a new initiative that will require medical students to pass mandatory training to diagnose and treat women’s health conditions, the Government is also introducing a certificate to provide legal recognition for women whose babies die within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.
If a baby dies in the womb and is delivered after 24 weeks, his or her death is registered as a stillbirth. However, if the baby dies before then, the baby does not receive a death certificate and is registered as a miscarriage.
The new measure was unveiled in the Government’s first women’s health strategy for England.
“[I]t has finally been recognised that a child born before 24 weeks deserves the acknowledgement that any other human being receives”
According to the Independent, around 14 babies die before, during or soon after birth in the UK every day, but campaigners have long warned the issue is routinely ignored by society and remains a taboo.
Speaking on behalf of the Lily Mae Foundation, which supports families impacted by a baby’s death, Amy Jackson said they were pleased “it has finally been recognised that a child born before 24 weeks deserves the acknowledgement that any other human being receives”.
She added: “To many of our families who have sadly lost a baby before 24 weeks, this small gesture will mean the world, and provide recognition that their precious baby existed”.
“To discriminate between gestations only serves to belittle a loss before 24 weeks and we at the Lily Mae Foundation truly believe that a loss is devastating no matter what the gestation. The loss of an entire lifetime of hopes and dreams”.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “Children who die in the womb, both before and after 24 weeks gestation, deserve legal recognition, no matter the circumstances of their death. The lives of unborn babies matter regardless of their gestational age”.