Legislative push for mothers of stillborn babies to receive same paid family leave as other mothers
Advocates and local officials are calling on state legislators to pass a new bill that would grant the mothers of stillborn babies the same benefits of paid family leave as other mothers.
For Natasha Green, this cause hits close to home - she gave birth to her daughter, Jurni, six months ago, who was stillborn. She's now volunteering with Push For Empowered Pregnancy to create changes for mothers.
The goal of the bill is to provide paid family leave for mothers after they have a stillbirth. Right now, mothers like Green don't have that eligibility.
"They don't realize that still birth involves actually giving birth to a full-size baby and they don't realize that still birth moms are going through all of the same post-partum effects as anybody else that gives birth," said Samantha Banerjee, executive director of Push For Empowered Pregnancy.
Banerjee founded the nonprofit after giving birth to her stillborn daughter, Alana. She says she thinks the oversight in policy comes from legislators not knowing the facts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in every 170 pregnancies in the United States end in stillbirth, and that Black women are twice as likely to experience one.
Push For Empowered Pregnancy is supporting these families in an effort to help lower these rates and give them equal birthing representation for family leave.
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson has stood in favor of the legislation, urging Gov. Kathy Hochul to work with the Assembly Speaker and the Labor Committee to get the bill signed into law.
The final day of the New York State Legislative Session is June 8.