The state parliament of Thuringia in east-central Germany forced a lawmaker to leave the house during a vote as she took her baby with her.
Madeleine Henfling, a Green Party member of Thuringia’s parliament, tried to vote on Wednesday while carrying her 6-week-old baby. Her participation would have taken a few minutes, reports CNN.
The state parliament president Christian Carius told Henfling that babies are not allowed in the plenary hall. The session was suspended for 30 minutes while the issue was discussed.
According to current Thuringian state law, babies and children are not specifically banned from being inside the state parliament.
‘We have made an inquiry into whether or not children are allowed in the chamber, and this examination and a decision by the board of governors has shown that we believe that young children are not allowed in plenary and I would ask that we also, for reasons of child protection, follow these rules,’ said Carius.
Regarding Carius’ decision, Henfling told CNN, ‘It’s a typical old man’s thinking. I know a lot of men who think differently than this. But for someone to say: You should just give your 6-week-child to a babysitter, especially if you are still breastfeeding them, that’s just not reality. Not for a mother. He doesn’t know what problems you have with a child. The easiest thing is really to take the child with you at this age because they sleep all the time.’
The Green Party is currently debating whether to take the case to court, arguing that Henfling was prevented from carrying out her elected duty.