Boston City Council approves 12 weeks paid leave for women having abortions

By Dave Andrusko

The NewBostonPost is reporting that on a voice vote the Boston City Council amended its paid leave ordinance to provide 12 weeks of paid leave if you have an abortion.

The vote, which passed unanimously on September 15, was signed into law by acting mayor Kim Janey on September 17.

“The city’s paid parental leave policy now includes 12 weeks of paid leave for both men and women for pregnancy loss, including all abortions for any reason,” according to Tom Joyce.

“The sponsors were city councilor Lydia Edwards, at-large city councilor Annissa Essaibi George (a recent candidate for mayor), and current mayor-elect Michelle Wu (an at-large city councilor at the time),” Joyce added.

“Ironically, the grant of abortion leave reinforces the pro-life view that abortion is a serious medical choice with potentially life-altering consequences for a woman’s physical, emotional, and psychological health,” Massachusetts Citizens for Life executive director Patricia Stewart told NewBostonPost in an email message. “Liberals’ acknowledgement of this truth may have the unintended effect of causing more women to rethink an abortion decision and save a baby’s life. Or, so we can hope.”

Not surprisingly pro-abortions Lydia Edwards, one of the three co-sponsors, had a very different take. In comments made prior to the vote, she stressed that pro-choicers should not take the new policy as a sign that the council was “stigmatizing” abortion.

This is for folks who are pro-choice and were concerned about a stigma being put on termination, or a sense that it is unhealthy or causes pain or causes immense amount of emotional turmoil. That is not the goal of this. In any way provide additional stigma or something about that, about the termination of a pregnancy — in any way, shape, or form.

As further assurance the Council was careful not to stigmatize abortion, Edwards added

And, if they at some point, as Councilor Mejia noted, need to take this leave, they are able to do so within a year. This is meant to just assume people have private lives, and that aspects of entering or exiting parenthood is impactful. That’s the whole goal. So I wanted to address this to those who may be watching and being concerned about a stigma.