Even if we’re among the lucky ones who haven’t experienced a miscarriage ourselves, pretty much all of us know someone who has — and it’s not exactly the easiest thing to deal with.
Between the inadvertently insensitive comments that well-meaning people can sometimes make (“you can always try again…” or, “it wasn’t meant to be”) and the physical and emotional loss women who miscarry deal with, it definitely takes its toll.
So it’s about time that more employers were forced to treat the situation as a disability, and not something that women should just be expected to “get over.” Heading back to work immediately following the loss of a child — even if it hasn’t been born yet — isn’t always the best course of action.
Thankfully, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal recently ruled that miscarriage should be treated as an official disability, and employers should not punish a woman for taking time off to deal with one. It all started when Winnie Mou of Markham, Ont. was fired in February 2014 after dealing with depression following the loss of her mother and an unborn child. Apparently her company disagreed that what she was dealing with was a disability.
Turns out the Tribunal disagreed, and a precedent-setting ruling was made in mid-March. Going forward, it should be easier for women in Ontario to take some time off to deal with a miscarriage if she needs it.
While there’s still a long ways to go in terms of women who feel stigmatized or uncomfortable talking about their own experiences with miscarriage, we’re chalking this one up as a win for female fertility everywhere. With 15-20 per cent of all pregnancies resulting in a miscarriage, it’s about time these women were represented, don’t you think?