New Zealand passes bereavement leave for miscarriages, stillbirths

New Zealand passes bereavement leave for miscarriages, stillbirths
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New Zealand on Wednesday passed bereavement leave for parents who suffer from a miscarriage or stillbirth. 

The legislation, called the Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage Bill, will give a couple who faces a miscarriage or stillbirth three days off from work fully paid so they do not have to use sick days to mourn, TVNZ reported.

The passing of this bill shows that once again New Zealand is leading the way for progressive and compassionate legislation, becoming only the second country in the world to provide leave for miscarriage and stillbirth,” Ginny Andersen, a member of the country’s Labour Party who drafted the bill, said.

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The bill also has a provision for parents who are looking to adopt or go through surrogacy. 

Parliament unanimously passed the bill after a final reading.

This is a Bill about workers’ rights and fairness. I hope it gives people time to grieve and promotes greater openness about miscarriage. We should not be fearful of our bodies,” Andersen said after the final reading.

"Most importantly, I’d like to acknowledge the one in four New Zealand women who have had a miscarriage," Andersen told TVNZ. "I hope this bill will go some way in recognizing the need for time and space to deal with the unimaginable grief that comes with losing a pregnancy."