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Cassie Kreitner
Senior Editor

Should Pregnant Women Get Special Parking Passes?

PUBLISHED ON 11/12/2015

While a few shopping centers designate “stork parking” spots for pregnant women and signs on public transportation urge riders to give priority seating to moms-to-be, two New York City councilmen are standing up for your swollen feet, achy backs and shortness of breath by saying it’s not enough.

Earlier this week, councilmen David Greenfield and Donovan Richards introduced a bill that would grant special parking permits to moms-to-be suffering from tough pregnancy complications hindering their mobility.

These permits would allow women to park in spots that are typically designed at standing-only or prohibited by time constraints or other rules. "Women in this situation deserve the courtesy of a permit allowing them to park closer to their destination, as long as they are medically qualified," Richards tells DNAinfo.

"As my wife and I prepare for the arrival of our son, I recognize all too well the importance of ensuring our families are not forced to choose between work, lifestyle and pregnancy," the first-time dad-to-be says.

While this sounds like a nice pregnancy perk with good intentions (and is already a law in some other cities and states), not everyone is on board. In fact, this is the second time Councilman Greenfield has proposed this bill; it's a cause that hits close to home after standing by his wife's side through two difficult pregnancies.

But four years ago, organizations like the National Organization for Women (NOW) argued that privileges like preferred parking could stigmatize pregnancy, making it seem like a disability. "A lot of bosses just don't think you'll be as dedicated, that you're as nimble or fast, mentally or physically," Sonia Ossorio, President of NOW in New York City, told The Daily News in 2011 when the bill was initially introduced. "You see women's career paths completely take a wrong turn as a result of getting pregnant and becoming mothers."

Since the NYC Department of Transportation already issues permits to people with disabilities and limited mobility, the councilmen aim to give the same assistance to moms-to-be on a temporary, as-needed basis. "This law gives common courtesy to expectant mothers by making their lives a little bit easier while they are commuting to work, shopping or visiting their doctor," Greenfield said.

Which side are you on? Do you think this parking permit is a good idea?

PHOTO: iStock