Parenthood: soon a leave of absence after a natural abortion?

At the end of March, MP Paula Forteza presented a bill aimed at creating a three-day special leave for any woman who has undergone a natural abortion. The forthcoming parliamentary debate should be followed closely.

SAccording to a report published in the British Medical Journal in April 2021 The lancet, 15% of pregnancies worldwide end in natural termination (also known as miscarriage) each year. In France, it is estimated that around 200,000 occur each year. But “for too long, a miscarriage has been downplayed and often not taken seriously,” says the report.

“Provide time to recover physically and mentally”

This is what a late March attempt to rectify in France by independent MP and ex-LREM Paula Forteza, who has decided to turn her personal experience into a political struggle.

Three years ago, the politician experienced a natural abortion. A difficult episode in his life, which made him realize that caring for women to whom this happens leaves much to be desired.

As reported positivePaula Forteza therefore proposes, in addition to improving access to information on the subject, through education and communication Creation of a three-day special leave for every woman with natural abortion. This leave would also apply to his spouse.

This measure is directly inspired by a regulation passed by New Zealand in March 2021. “Miscarriage is not an illness, it is a loss that comes with grief,” Paula Forteza told Causette. “This holiday is a way of officially recognizing this loss and its psychological consequences for the people going through it. It will give time to recover physically and mentally,” she continues.

French law lags behind when it comes to natural abortion

New Zealand is not the first country in the world to have passed this type of legislation. In India, as related The guard, Since 1961, the law has provided six weeks’ leave for women who have undergone a natural abortion. As the vast majority of workers work informally, few have access to it.

In some countries, such as the UK, this leave does not exist, but the law on the other hand gives pregnant women the right to maternity leave for a number of weeks or more, even if their pregnancy has not yet ended, which vary from country to country can.

In France, according to Assurance Maladie, it depends on: before the 22nd week of pregnancy (ie five and a half months) you can be on sick leave “for the duration prescribed by your doctor”.; After this period, you can take maternity leave. But in both cases it is more like a stillborn child and not really a natural termination of pregnancy. This draft law would therefore create a concrete and clear legal framework in this area for France.

also read Why should we give up the term “miscarriage”?
Miscarriage: “It’s about time we stopped being sad women in the shadows”

Although it seems difficult to imagine what arguments could be used against this bill, it is worth remembering that the government and the LREM majority in the National Assembly suffered an outcry in spring 2020 after causing the rejection of a similar bill which aimed to extend leave from five to 12 days for workers confronted with the loss of a child.

Since the National Assembly traditionally closes before the presidential election, the bill should not be debated before the next general election. Be continued.

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