Rep. Angela Rigas secured a rare unanimous vote for a resolution in the often-divided Michigan state Legislature last week by passing House Resolution 149.
HR 149 officially establishes October 15 as Infant-Loss Day in Michigan to “recognize the grief of the families who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss and to help heal and comfort these families in a time of pain and heartache, to give the families hope for the future, and to assist women and families across the state in understanding their experience.”
Rigas, who spoke in favor of the resolution on the House floor, revealed that she herself has four times experienced losing children out of her eight pregnancies.
“I never thought I would suffer a miscarriage until I did,” Rigas said during her remarks. “I never heard about them. They were “dirty little secrets,” and even after it happens to you, people don’t want to talk about it. But we have to…My son Maverick died on Christmas day. He was buried on New Year’s Eve in a tiny white casket. I was in so much pain that all I wanted to do was crawl into that hole with him. I didn’t want to let him go…We need to reach out to these women and let them know they are not alone. We need to let them know that resources do exist. And we need to create so many more.”
Rigas’ speech brought many legislators on the floor to tears, and the moment crossed the partisan divide as several Democrat legislators crossed the aisle to stand alongside her for the vote.
Recommended resources for mothers and families who’ve lost infants include offerings from both the University of Michigan, the State of Michigan, and others as well that include counseling, burial and funeral services.
“Some things are bigger than politics,” Rigas said. “Some things have to be.”
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