WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) applauded the Boston City Council’s passage of an ordinance led by Councilors Lydia Edwards, Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George that would expand parental leave for City employees, including those experiencing pregnancy loss. Under the ordinance, City employees can now take 12 weeks of parental leave and the policy now applies to pregnancy loss as well as those welcoming a new family member or acting as a caregiver.
In July, Rep. Pressley and Senator Tammy Duckworth unveiled the Support Through Loss Act to support those going through pregnancy loss or by expanding access to paid leave, as well as funding for research and access to resources and patient centered care.
“Pregnancy loss should be met with care, compassion, support, and paid leave, but far too many families suffer in silence due to the lack of awareness and cultural stigma—including those in the Massachusetts 7th,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “As we continue to make progress at the federal level to establish a universal paid leave program that supports families nationwide, I’m thrilled to see the Boston City Council lead on this issue locally. I am deeply grateful to Councilors Edwards, Wu and Essaibi George, and the organizers and advocates for their efforts to expand these critical protections to City employees. I also applaud Councilor O’Malley’s testimony and continued advocacy on this issue.”
Congresswoman Pressley has led efforts in Congress to strengthen and expand paid leave protections. Last year, Reps. Pressley and DeLauro, along with Senators Gillibrand (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA), introduced the PAID Leave Act (Providing Americans Insured Days of Leave Act), a comprehensive emergency paid sick, paid family and medical leave bill to provide additional financial support to our nation’s most vulnerable workers and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health emergencies. Rep. Pressley has also consistently called for expanded paid family and medical leave to be included in federal COVID-19 relief and care economy focused infrastructure packages.
In July, as Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Congresswoman Pressley successfully secured language to ensure that federal employees are able to access paid family and medical leave in the event of a pregnancy loss as part of the Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act.
As a result of ongoing advocacy efforts from organizers, advocates and paid leave Congressional champions like Congresswoman Pressley, the House Ways and Means Committee advanced a bold proposal to establish 12 weeks of universal paid family and medical leave program for all workers as part of the Build Back Better Act. The proposal will be considered by the full House of Representatives in the coming weeks.
As a founding member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, Congresswoman Pressley is also committed to ending the Black maternal mortality crisis in America and affirming maternal health justice for all. She has introduced the MOMMIES Act to expand coverage for pregnant people through Medicaid, she has introduced the Justice for Incarcerated Moms Act to improve maternal health care and support for pregnant individuals who are incarcerated, and she has also introduced the COVID-19 Safe Birthing Act to provide critical protections and access to care for pregnant people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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