Dr Gray’s Maternity Unit

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 15th June 2021.

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Photo of Karen Adam Karen Adam Scottish National Party

Too often, women’s health is not prioritised, as we often just get on and do not make a fuss. After all, as some have said, babies have been born every day since the dawn of time. Thankfully, attitudes have changed and we now know and understand the importance of how and where a child is born and of how that can impact on the physical and mental health of not only the mother but the child. If we truly want to give children in Scotland the best start in life, we must ensure that we start with the care and attention that is received during pregnancy and the moment of arrival at birth. That is the very start.

I want the best start in life for my constituents. I am humbled and honoured to represent my Banffshire and Buchan Coast constituency. It is a rural constituency that is rich in beauty, culture and history. Fishing is the main source of that history and culture, and it is an industry to which I will give a high level of attention during this session.

Speaking of my constituency, I pay tribute to Stewart Stevenson, who represented the area for 20 years. He was a long-standing member who is highly regarded and fondly thought of. Presiding Officer, I ask that you be somewhat forgiving with me, as this is my first speech. I promised that I would ensure a nod to Stewart, and I could think of no better way of doing that than to bring a pop of eccentricity to the chamber today by wearing these rainbow braces. I also take the opportunity to honour pride month.

The stunning Banffshire and Buchan Coast constituency, which attracts tourists from around the globe, is rich in natural resources and in people who are not only proud of their home but extremely resilient and resourceful. The irony is that my constituency also contains nearly 50 per cent of the universal credit claimant list for the whole of Aberdeenshire and has among the highest levels of child poverty in the shire. The north-east of Scotland has been the area that has been and will be hardest hit as a result of Brexit and latterly, of course, the pandemic. We should not be adding more pain and suffering to the people at this time.

I am sorry, but my legs shake. It is a physical condition.