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New Bill Would Offer Paid Leave After a Family-Building Loss

The Support Through Loss Act aims to provide time off and support for those who’ve experienced a miscarriage, unsuccessful fertility treatment, adoption or any other type of family-building loss.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published October 27, 2023
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New compassionate legislation has made its debut in Congress in support of those who’ve experienced a family-building loss. The Support Through Loss Act, introduced by Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill, and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass, is designed to provide paid leave after pregnancy loss, unsuccessfully fertility treatment, adoption or any other type of family-building loss.

Despite the devastation that comes with pregnancy loss, it often goes unreported and is grieved in silence, with mothers and eager parents-to-be forced to return to work without any time to process their loss. This pain isn’t isolated to just a few Americans either. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, with 2.6 million babies tragically stillborn.

These numbers don’t account for the heartbreak that occurs when fertility treatments prove unsuccessful, adoptions fall through, or a planned surrogacy arrangement doesn’t come to fruition. All in all, millions of Americans deal with some sort of family–building loss each year and often must return to work the next day.

Senator Duckworth understands this struggle all too well. In a press release following the introduction of The Support Through Loss Act, Duckworth shared her own personal experience with pregnancy loss.

“My family faced our own heartbreaks and challenges when growing our family and I wouldn’t have my two girls today if it weren’t for the miracle of IVF. The Support Through Loss Act would provide so many hopeful parents with the time they need to grieve and heal when living through difficult losses, which is why I’m so proud to reintroduce this bill with Congresswoman Pressley to shine a light on these all-too-common experiences of families across the nation,” she wrote.

The Support Through Loss Act aims to accomplish three major objectives:

  • Ensure employers provide at least seven days of paid leave for workers to process and address health—including mental health—needs following a pregnancy loss, an unsuccessful assisted reproductive technology procedure, a failed adoption arrangement, a failed surrogacy arrangement or a medical diagnosis or event that impacts pregnancy or fertility.
  • Direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and disseminate educational resources for the public regarding pregnancy loss and the range of treatment options for pregnancy loss, including recurrent pregnancy loss; and
  • Provides $45 million in annual funding for the National Institutes of Health to expand, intensify and coordinate federal research and programs with respect to pregnancy loss to help develop a better understanding of the problem and potentially suggest best practices to reduce pregnancy loss.

While The Support Through Loss Act faces a long road through the legislative process, its mere introduction provides much-needed visibility to an experience that is rarely discussed or addressed.

You can learn more about The Support Through Loss Act and how to show your support for the bill at Duckworth.senate.gov.

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