According to a study published in the British medical journal The Lancet, 23 million miscarriages occur worldwide every year. That’s 15% of pregnancies. Significant numbers. However, the subject remains taboo. In France, Europe Ecologie-Les Verts MEP Paula Forteza advocates for conscience education and calls for extra leave after a miscarriage.
One in ten women worldwide has experienced a miscarriage. That’s according to a study published in The Lancet columns on March 27, 2022. The researchers found that there are a total of 130 million pregnancies worldwide. Numbers that make you dizzy, but which illustrate a painful experience that is still unfolding silently for millions of people. For this reason, deputy Europe Ecologie-Les Verts Paula Forteza wants to create a special leave of 3 days to deal with perinatal bereavement. On March 30, she introduced a bill for better miscarriage management.
Video. “After the miscarriage there is silence…”
Miscarriages: French law in slow motion?
What happens after a miscarriage? Do you have the right not to go to work? Can we take paid vacation? Unfortunately, if you don’t have any answers to these questions, that’s not surprising. When she suffered a miscarriage three years ago, Paula Forteza was also confronted with a mountain of unanswered questions. “I wasn’t aware of what pregnancy loss was like until I experienced one,” she confided to Rue89. As a woman, I realized that I was not prepared to endure this ordeal. I felt alone, isolated, with no concrete information. I didn’t know not only the cause of this miscarriage but also what would happen.”
With regard to leave after a miscarriage, French law sets numerous conditions. If an abortion occurs before the start of the 20th week of pregnancy, the employee has the right to be absent for up to 3 weeks … but without pay. This absence can be extended if a medical certificate can justify it. However, the law does not provide for vacation for the partner. The health insurance company stipulates further conditions: “You are entitled to maternity leave for the duration of the rest period to be observed if the child was not born alive or when it was born on the 22nd day.” Under the same conditions, the doctor can also issue a sick note In her book “Two Crows and a Stork”, which deals with her two miscarriages, Diane Léonor also addresses an important point on the subject: “A sick leave, but we are not sick. We lose a baby. We mourn and we on the contrary, we need to be surrounded and supported.
France is late. In 2021, the New Zealand Parliament passed legislation giving three days of special leave to women who have miscarried or given birth to a stillborn child. The same applies to your partner. In the country, employers are already required to provide bereavement leave in the event of a miscarriage after 20 weeks or more of pregnancy. In Ontario, Canada, the law provides 17 weeks of unpaid leave for women who miscarry 17 weeks or less before the due date. In Australia, you can apply for it if the miscarriage occurs at least 12 weeks into the pregnancy.
Video. In Sweden men can take 6 months paternity leave
At home, Paula Forteza proposes “the establishment of a three-day special leave for the occurrence of a miscarriage”, as in New Zealand. For the Green MP, “It’s a way of officially and symbolically acknowledging the existence of this moment and the sadness it evokes. A miscarriage is not an illness, but it is a significant event that takes time to recover from. Both for the woman and for her.” The spouse.” In addition, Paula Forteza wants midwives to be empowered to order a walkout as well.
A problematic concept
Paula Forteza’s bill focuses on several angles. Aware of the taboo that miscarriages still represent in our societies, the MP pleads for education and sensitization “at school”: “It is completely incomprehensible that this is not addressed in sex education classes by women, but also picked up by men.” Paula Forteza also suggests limiting stress levels by allowing telework during pregnancy.A history of psychological stress can reduce the risk of miscarriage, according to a 2017 study conducted by the University of London department increase up to 42%.
The honorable member doesn’t stop there. For them there is an urgent need to communicate on this topic. That’s why she wants to “improve knowledge about miscarriages and the associated risks by launching a public information campaign on the subject.” A joint struggle of the collective “Miscarriage, true experience” that goes even further. In a column published in Le Monde last March, the signatories called for the term “miscarriage” to be replaced by “natural abortion”. And this in order to break down the taboos and insidious beliefs surrounding premature termination of pregnancy. The collective thus denounces the guilt-ridden notions of this “problematic” expression, which could imply a “voluntary act” when it comes to “miscarriage”. Because of the sacralization of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, some women may find themselves locked in perinatal grief and forced to remain silent to avoid judgment.
Whether it’s questioning the term or Paula Forteza’s bill, all of these positions tend to deconstruct taboos around an issue that continues to affect millions of people around the world every year. And when miscarriage is an intimate affliction, those who face it should not suffer in silence in the face of the unknown, the unspeakable and the rambling, the physical and the psychological.
Video. Perinatal bereavement: Parents can register their stillborn child at the registry office
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