Sharon Hodgson’s heartrending account of the loss of her baby daughter is a moving reminder that our MPs are human too.
In the cut and thrust of political discourse, where insults are liberally given and received, it’s too easy to view MPs on all sides as unfeeling talking heads.
The Washington and Sunderland West MP broke down in tears in a parliamentary debate on the issue of pre 24-week registration for stillbirths put forward as part of the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill, proposed by former Tory minister Tim Loughton.
As Sharon revealed in an interview on the TV show This Morning, speaking in the debate was, for her, “the hardest thing ever.”
We commend her bravery in sharing her story.
To those who have not gone through the trauma of losing a child, it is hard to appreciate the need for change.
The black and white wording seems adequate enough. Babies stillborn before 24 weeks do not receive a birth or death certificate. Without emotional context, it’s hard to appreciate what all the fuss is about.
Sharon Hodgson’s searingly honest account of losing her baby daughter Lucy puts the argument into perspective.
She revealed how, even though she had held her daughter, who was in a babygro and wearing a little hat, her precious baby girl officially did not, and had never, existed.
It was too much for her to bear.
What adds to the debate is that the pain of the whole episode actually dissuaded her from speaking earlier. It was 20 years after the death of her baby, that she found the courage to speak up. We’re glad she did.
Whether it sways the argument towards getting the formal recordings changed is neither here nor there. What matters is the debate is better for her moving input.
Politics without passion, conviction and emotion is not politics at all. We could do with more of it.