Mental and physical stress: Maternity protection after a miscarriage: Four women file a constitutional complaint

You had a miscarriage yourself.

Mental and physical stress: Maternity protection after a miscarriage: Four women file a constitutional complaint

You had a miscarriage yourself. And are now demanding better conditions for those affected. Four women have filed a constitutional complaint before the Federal Constitutional Court. They want to take action to ensure that women who lose their child before the 24th week of pregnancy do not receive maternity leave. And therefore have to go back to work even on the day of a miscarriage, as stated in a statement.

One of the four women is Natascha Sagorski. Through a book and a petition, the PR manager and author has become a prominent voice for more awareness and protection in the case of miscarriage. She tells about her own at the press conference on Wednesday morning. How the doctor at her bedside told her shortly after the excision under general anesthesia that she could go back to work tomorrow. And she thought: "That sounds so absurd. It can't be."

So Sagorski talked to other affected people and got smart. She came to the conclusion: Those affected depend on their doctors. Some received no sick leave. She heard that again and again in the hundreds of conversations she had. There is hardly any data on certificates of incapacity to work after miscarriages. These are only occasionally filed with health insurance companies.

In Germany, maternity protection has so far applied to women who lose their child from the 24th week. From the time or a weight of at least 500 grams one speaks of a stillbirth. The women are then entitled to a total of 18 weeks of maternity leave. Sagorski and her colleagues see the 24th week of pregnancy as an arbitrary limit. They have joined forces in the newly founded "Feminist Domestic Policy" association, which supports the complaint.

They are represented by Remo Klinger, a specialist lawyer for administrative law, who considers the current regulation not only unfair but also unconstitutional. He explains that this derives from civil status law and the child's ability to survive. The psychological and physical stress on the mother would be left out.

According to Klinger, the legislature has recognized that protection against dismissal is necessary and appropriate from the twelfth week of pregnancy due to the special situation of women. Nevertheless, the legislature does not grant these women maternity leave. "As a result, the situation arises in which women cannot be fired if they do not go to work on the day of the miscarriage, but they nevertheless act in violation of labor law if they do it without sick leave." A contradiction from the point of view of the lawyer.

He refers to the protection of the mother, which is anchored in the Basic Law. He sees a gap in the current regulation that has not been closed. Therefore, he and his law firm recommended that women file a constitutional complaint with the Federal Constitutional Court. This has already happened. "We assume that it will be processed," said Klinger.

He and Zagorksi emphasize that it is ultimately up to politicians to make the appropriate laws. If it were up to you, you wouldn't actually have to regulate it in court. But if there is no other way, then this is the way.

In the meantime, the topic has arrived in politics, even if it is not treated as a priority. According to the coalition agreement, maternity protection should apply to miscarriages or stillbirths after the 20th week of pregnancy. There should also be a two-week paid leave of absence for the partner.

Sagorski advocates graduated maternity leave after miscarriages. Not mandatory, but as an option for those affected. She sees the precise design in the hands of experts. This year she collected signatures for her cause and exceeded the target of 50,000 (stern reported). The Bundestag had to react to this. Very constructive talks took place, says Sagorski. Which laws will now be tackled and how remains open. Sagorski hopes that grief counselors, midwives and those affected will have their say in the drafting.

The memory of their lost children is a sensitive, important issue for parents. Klaus Becker gives them a priceless gift by photographing star children. The star accompanied him, as you can read here.

Sources: Feminist Domestic Policy, Family Portal

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