Elizabeth Lee shares heartache over abortions | The Canberra Times

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ACT opposition leader Elizabeth Lee has in an emotional speech revealed to the territory’s legislature that she has experienced two abortions this year. Mrs Lee spoke about her grief in a tripartite proposal in the ACT Parliament on Friday to recognize the International Day of Pregnancy and the Loss of Infants on 15 October. Human Rights Minister Tara Cheyne said the ACT government from October 15 would offer a formal early pregnancy loss reminder letter to residents who lose a child within 20 weeks to help with the grieving process. “The certificate provides a tangible recognition of the loss and I hope it will provide some support and comfort to the parents,” she said. “The certificate is optional and free.” ACT is the last jurisdiction in Australia to offer this. Ms Lee said the certificate and recognition of the day was an important step in helping families who have suffered losses to feel that they are not alone. She also shared in the speech that she and her partner, Nathan, had experienced two abortions this year. Mrs. Lee experienced a previous miscarriage in June 2018. One year after the loss, she gave birth to her daughter and rainbow baby, Mia. “This year, Nathan and I experienced two more abortions, both of which I had to undergo an extension and curettage,” she told the assembly. “As medical procedures go, it’s a pretty small one, and I’m extremely fortunate to have the support of a professional and caring medical team, and although the physical recovery is pretty straightforward, the emotional recovery is not that easy.” Mrs Lee said her emotional response to the losses had come in waves and often when she had least expected it. “Every family experiences pregnancy loss differently,” Ms. Lee said. “I almost forgot all about it when I update my health insurance and they innocently ask, is there a reason you need top-level hospital coverage. This is enough for me to stop and my mind goes straight back to the dark room when the sonographer said the painful words, I regret that there is no heartbeat. “I think it’s really really important that we recognize that everyone mourns and must treat in grief in a different way.” MORE ACT POLICY NEWS: Environment Minister Rebecca Vassarotti also shared her experience of pregnancy loss. “Early pregnancy loss is so common that well-meaning advice is given to men when people, once women find out they are pregnant, include the proposal that women keep it quiet for a while, in if something goes wrong, “she said.” I will reflect that I am glad that I did not take this advice and did not take the weight of the experience of early pregnancy loss alone. “Green Cross Benches Andrew Braddock also spoke of his son, Connor Jack Braddock, who was stillborn nine years ago.” When I wrote this speech nine years later, tears were streaming down my face. Emotions flowed back, “he said. Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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