Not Just Boston: Other Cities Now Offering Paid Abortion Leave

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When it comes to paid abortion leave, Boston is not alone. 

The Boston City Council expanded its paid leave scheme for city workers in September to include loss of pregnancy, including abortion for any reason at any point in the pregnancy. The policy applies to both women and men and offers them 100 percent of their pay for the first four weeks, 75 percent for the next four weeks, and 50 percent for the final four weeks. It passed unanimously on a voice vote.

While Boston’s paid abortion leave is the only known example in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston is not the only city in America with this policy. Two other cities now have similar policies in place, although theirs are not as generous.

The cities of Portland, Oregon and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania began offering city workers paid leave this year for loss of pregnancy, including abortion. However, those schemes differ from the one offered by Boston.

Last month, the city council in Portland, Oregon unanimously passed changes to the city’s bereavement leave policy to include loss of pregnancy, including abortion, according to KATU. The new policy includes abortions performed for any reason. Unlike Boston’s, however, the Portland policy doesn’t allow for up to 12 weeks of paid leave. Instead, Portland’s policy allows for three days of bereavement leave. Like Boston’s policy, however, the paid leave policy in Portland applies to both men and women, according to the city’s web site.

And around the same time that Boston enacted paid leave for pregnancy loss, including abortion, Pittsburgh did the same.

Pittsburgh’s ordinance went into effect on September 22, according to the city council’s web site. Like Portland’s policy, the Pittsburgh policy offers bereavement leave for pregnancy loss, including abortion, giving employees up to three days off for it, according to TribLive. Like the other two cities, the policy also applies to both men and women.

Massachusetts Citizens for Life executive director Patrician Stewart told NewBostonPost earlier this month that paid abortion leave recognizes that abortion ends a human life.

“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,” Stewart wrote 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.”

Members of the city councils of Boston, Portland, and Pittsburgh could not be reached for comment over the weekend or on Monday this week. Nor could the respective mayors who signed the measures.


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