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Nova Scotia passes Tory bill proclaiming Oct. 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

A private member's bill proclaiming Oct. 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day has been unanimously passed by the Nova Scotia legislature. Cyra Barugsay / EyeEm

The third time’s the charm for a private member’s bill proclaiming Oct. 15 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day after it was unanimously passed by the Nova Scotia legislature on Friday.

The legislation was tabled earlier this week by Tim Houston, the Progressive Conservative member for Pictou East.

“Oct. 15 will provide special recognition for women and families who have suffered such a heartbreaking loss,” said Houston in a press release.

“With this extra awareness and attention, we can begin to provide women and families with the support and compassion they need at such a difficult time.”

READ MORE: Nova Scotia private member’s bill seeks pregnancy, infant loss awareness day

Houston has previously introduced bills that would declare the occasion, only for them to fail at its second reading.

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He says that the current bill falls short of promising new support and resources for bereaved families which was the goal of the two previous bills.

Paula Harmon, who has lost a child, was present to see the bill pass.

She’s advocated for the issue and says it means a lot, not just to her, but to the many families who have lost someone they love.

“It’s validation to all the families that everybody can now recognize publicly, at least in one little gesture, that their children existed,” Harmon said.

WATCH: Coping with the loss of a child by building awareness

Click to play video: 'Coping with the loss of a child by building awareness'
Coping with the loss of a child by building awareness

A similar bill was passed unanimously in Ontario in late 2015, proclaiming Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day on Oct. 15, promising better resources, support and research on the issue.

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The Tory bill has received widespread support across Nova Scotia, including 28 municipalities that have agreed to proclaim the day.

— With files from Marieke Walsh and The Canadian Press

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