Commons Moved To Tears As An MP Recounts “Horror” Of A Stillbirth Baby That “Did Not Exist”
An MP moved the House of Commons to tears as she recalled the moment she was told her stillborn daughter "officially did not exist", despite knowing her heart was beating during the labour.

Sharon Hodgson’s voice cracked with emotion and she paused several times during her speech on the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths Bill, which includes introducing formal recording for a stillborn child born before 24 weeks’ gestation.

“Her name is not on the deed for the burial plot because although buried there, she did not exist.” the Washington and Sunderland West MP said.

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Mrs Hodgson, 51, a mother-of-two, choked back tears as she told of the loss of her third child Lucy who would have celebrated her 20th birthday this year.

She said she was left “horrified” that Lucy arrived less than half a week before the 24-week legal limit for her to be classed as a stillborn. The pregnancy was officially classed as a miscarriage, leaving her mother to “come to terms” with receiving no death certificate or formal acknowledgment of life.

MP breaks down in tears while talking about having a stillborn child

“As I held her in my arms and had to come to terms with what had just happened, I also then had to come to terms with the fact that she officially did not exist,” Mrs Hodgson said.

“Because she was pre-24 weeks she didn’t even get the dignity to be classed as a still birth.”

“Although that is what I always say she was if and when I talk about this tragedy – which as you can tell isn’t very often.”

Mrs Hodgson said she watched a previous Commons debate on baby loss from her office as she was “too scared” to be in the chamber due to how emotional she would get listening.

MP breaks down in tears while talking about having a stillborn child

“I never felt brave enough or strong enough to do what they did – and I still find it very difficult even now all these years later to even talk about it,” she added.

“I tell you all this to highlight that to the chaplain, the funeral service, to us, her family, she existed, she was a baby who was sadly born dead.”

“Her heart beated throughout my labour just up until minutes before she was born. She just couldn’t make the final push into this world. “

The girl was given a blessing by the hospital chaplain and buried in a white coffin, in the same grave as Ms Hodgson’s mother and grandfather.

Labour’s Barbara Keeley said: ‘It’s very clear Lucy does exist.’

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