Sarah Mitchell shares miscarriage pain in support of abortion clinic safe zone support

PERSONAL PAIN: Sarah Mitchell said she was at her most fragile the day she had treatment at a clinic.
PERSONAL PAIN: Sarah Mitchell said she was at her most fragile the day she had treatment at a clinic.

GUNNEDAH politician Sarah Mitchell has spoken openly of the pain and trauma she felt during her two miscarriages in a speech supporting safe zones around abortion clinics.

The NSW Early Childhood Education Minister wanted to use her personal experience to shine a light on the fact that women enter abortion clinics for many reasons, often seeking advice or treatment “at a time when they are at their most vulnerable”.

Ms Mitchell told the parliament she suffered two miscarriages in between the births of her two girls, and the second one was a particularly traumatic experience.

“I have to say that miscarriage really knocked me around,” Ms Mitchell said.

“I was about 10 weeks along and had absolutely no clue that anything was wrong until we attended a routine doctor’s appointment to find that our baby had no heartbeat.

“I try not to get emotional but it is tough to talk about losing a baby. I was in shock because I had had no symptoms, I had morning sickness and everything pointed to my pregnancy being okay. But it was not.”

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The doctor recommended Ms Mitchell have an emergency higher-resolution ultrasound and a surgical procedure that afternoon.

Ms Mitchell said that had she been approached by a protester or handed pro-life material as she entered the clinic that afternoon, it would have “pushed me over the edge when I was at my most fragile”.

“For me it was a traumatic experience, although I was treated with respect and dignity the whole time,” Ms Mitchell said.

“I cannot imagine what it would have been like to have been entering a place for treatment after losing my baby and to have been harassed, called names, shown pictures, filmed or even to have been handed pamphlets or prayed for by people who may genuinely believe what they are doing is well meaning.”

The bill, put forward by Tamworth-based Nationals politician Trevor Khan, passed through parliament on Thursday, with the support of local Nationals MPs Kevin Anderson, Adam Marshall and Kevin Humphries.

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