Why it Matters
Part of protecting children is valuing motherhood and fatherhood which I believe have both been undervalued here in Victoria. The devaluing of the essential roles of motherhood and fatherhood has led to the view of children as being more of a burden than a blessing.
- Develop a Perinatal Mental Health Plan with a view to ensuring that all mothers and fathers are offered mental health assistance when and where needed;
- Increase the trained workforce in perinatal services across Victoria, especially in rural and regional areas.
What I’ve Done
These are issues close to my heart. I have lost two children to miscarriage – Emily who would be 12, and Harrison who would be 8 this coming December. Their loss remains palpable for me today. They are remembered even though I did not get to hold them – and I understand what it is like to be subjected to a healthcare system which is dismissive of a mother’s grief.
In Parliament I have introduced two initiatives to protect children:
- Perinatal Care Inquiry: I initiated and participated in this inquiry which identified gaps in our perinatal care system. With another term in Parliament, I will advocate to ensure these gaps are filled.
- Infant Viability Bill: I introduced this bill to provide care and support for preborn children post-24 weeks’ gestation as well as support to their mothers. This private member’s bill was defeated in Parliament. With another term in parliament, I am committed to introducing further legislation. I think it is that important!
(Rachel at a rally in support of her Infant Viability Bill in 2016)
Babies deserve the best care, so do their mothers- and fathers. We can do better. And under my watch, we will do better.