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Green MP delighted at support for Bill

20 June 2006

Green MP delighted at support for mothers and babies Bill

Green Party Social Justice Spokesperson Sue Bradford is welcoming the support her Corrections (Mothers with Babies) Amendment Bill is receiving from across the political spectrum.

The Private Members Bill, which would allow women in prison to breastfeed their babies until the age of two years old, was drawn from the Ballot last week and will have its first reading on 28 June.

The National Party has indicated it will support the Bill through to the select committee stage, and Ms Bradford is confident of support from other parties across the political spectrum.

"I have already received fantastic support from community groups like Parents Centre New Zealand, as well as from many groups working in the prison system, and I am delighted that it is now garnering political support," Ms Bradford says.

"While my Bill will only affect a small group, that group is one of the most vulnerable sectors of society," Ms Bradford says.

Research shows that allowing a mother to keep her baby can make a crucial difference to her rehabilitation, and can often provide a relatively safe and secure environment for her baby.

"New Zealand lags behind much of the rest of the world in this area, and this amendment would bring us into line with World Health Organisation guidelines," Ms Bradford says

"If passed, my Bill will require mothers wishing to keep their babies with them to enter into a parenting agreement, and each case will be considered individually to find the best solution for the welfare of the baby.

"I'm thrilled that other parties are willing to support my Bill in its early stages, and look forward to it making a positive difference in the lives of mothers and babies," Ms Bradford says.


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