Closed petition Change legal definition of stillborn to include all delivered babies

I want the government to change this SAD law that defines stillbirth as only applying to babies lost after 24 weeks. When a mother has to give birth to the child, this is a stillborn baby.

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I can understand being classed as a miscarriage when you don’t deliver any baby, as I’ve also been through this myself. Giving birth is completely different. That’s logic.

I gave birth on 4 April to our beautiful baby girl who was born at 19 weeks 1 day gestation. Sadly in the eyes of the law this is a miscarriage. I couldn't disagree more, also don’t believe many other mothers would agree with this legal definition. No parent should have to go through this horrific situation to be told they have suffered a miscarriage, when a mother has physically delivered a baby. Can you imagine how midwives must feel having to tell the parents this? Please sign and share this petition and let’s get this law changed once and for all to help all parents of those beautiful angel babies born sleeping.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

20,225 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 28 June 2022

The Government recognises the tragedy of pregnancy loss and we are working to better understand what can be done for those who have lost a pregnancy through The Pregnancy Loss Review.

Read the response in full

Stillbirth or miscarriage at any stage of pregnancy are tragic events to families and individuals. We thank everyone who has signed this petition for highlighting this question, knowing how many of you will have suffered pregnancy loss.

The Government recognises how important this is and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has already commissioned The Pregnancy Loss Review: Care and Support when Baby Loss Occurs Before 24 Weeks Gestation, which is due to be published this year.

An advisory panel for this review was appointed to ensure that people who experience a pregnancy loss, care provider organisations and others involved in care help to shape the recommendations. These recommendations will look at the impact of the current 24 week gestation threshold before being able to formally register a miscarriage. This includes looking at whether it is beneficial to look at changing the laws so parents can register the loss only if they wish. Importantly, the report will also look at NHS gynaecology and maternity units care for women who have experience baby loss.

While none of this can change the tragedy of pregnancy loss we hope that it may help us change how women are cared for, the acknowledgement of pregnancy loss at any stage, and help us to understand what the government could do to address the laws surrounding care.

Department of Health and Social Care