Most parents in Denmark have probably faced a situation when they’ve had to at least consider bringing their kids to work for one reason or another.
Employers are usually quite understanding, but it’s likely that MP Mette Abildgaard will think twice in the future after being kicked out of Parliament today, along with her five-month-old daughter, by speaker Pia Kjærsgaard.
“’You are unwanted in Parliament with your child!’ – that was the message today for Esther Marie [her daughter] and I from Pia Kjærsgaard,” Abildgaard wrote on Facebook.
“I’ve never brought my daughter to Parliament before, and it wasn’t the plan to do so today. But Jens Jacob [the father] couldn’t step in this time and shortly before session I found out I had to vote. Otherwise it would have been cleared, so the situation was extraordinary in every way possible.”
Pia K: it was a disturbance
The Konservative party member went on to say that she has a right to a year of maternity leave, but decided against taking it because she wanted to get back to work.
Abildgaard ended up passing her infant to a Parliament staff member in order to run in and vote. She admitted that she had not asked permission to bring her baby into session since she had seen a colleague do the same at some point.
Kjærsgaard wouldn’t respond to questions regarding the situation, but her press spokesperson, Claus Brask, said that she was only following the rules as speaker of Parliament.
“The speaker acted because she felt that Mette Abildgaard’s baby was disturbing the meeting,” Brask told BT tabloid.
Politicians breastfeeding in Parliament is not an uncommon sight these days – Canadian minister Karina Gould went viral for doing so last year during a raucous debate session.