NORRISTOWN, PA — Calling on Pennsylvania to support working people and modernize its leave policy, state lawmakers announced legislation this week to ensure working people receive paid time off after suffering the loss of a pregnancy.
State Sen. Amanda Cappelletti joined state Reps. Liz Hanbidge and Melissa Shusterman at a news conference on Friday to introduce the Pennsylvania Support Through Loss Act, H.B. 1977.
“Everyone grieves and processes a loss differently,” Cappelletti said. “Having my own pregnancy loss experiences only strengthened my resolve and advocacy efforts on this issue. People seeking to become parents deserve to take time for themselves when their hopes and dreams are cut short for any reason. This legislation will ensure Pennsylvania workers are able to take at least a little time for themselves during a physically and mentally challenging time.”
Held on the steps of the Montgomery County Courthouse, the news conference was held on National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
“The loss of a pregnancy is devastating, physically and mentally, and can trigger negative long-lasting effects in the lives of those who experience it and aren’t able to get the help they need,” Hanbidge said. “Often in our society, working people are forced to return to work too soon after this difficult experience. Lack of a paid leave program for pregnancy loss means that people often feel they need to put work ahead of taking the time they may need to cope, grieve and heal. This bill seeks to ensure our state is a safer place to work by placing an emphasis on providing time for workers to reach out to healthcare professionals and counselors.”
The bill would provide three days of paid leave for people experiencing a lost pregnancy.
“This bill offers compassion to people who have suffered a great loss,” Shusterman said. “Nothing can prepare an expecting parent for the loss of a pregnancy, but this bill would provide people with the time they need to recover and regroup. It makes an unbearable situation a little less horrible.”
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