NEW YORK (Reuters) - Women having difficult pregnancies would get special parking privileges under a proposal to be introduced this week, according to a New York City Councilman sponsoring the bill.
The bill suggests that pregnant women be allowed to park in no-parking zones and stand in no-standing zones, said Councilman David Greenfield, who plans to introduce the bill at a council meeting on Wednesday.
“I think as a courtesy, it would go a long way in making lives of women having difficult pregnancies easier by giving them a limited parking permit,” Greenfield said.
Under the proposal, pregnant women could obtain the special parking permits from the city by providing a doctor’s note. The permit would expire 30 days after their expected due date.
Other U.S. states, including Georgia and Oklahoma, have similar laws, Greenfield said.
The New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women said they liked the idea but worried about possible discrimination by employers and others who may be upset over the special privileges.
“If there’s any city in the country where a measure like this is reasonable, it is New York City,” said Sonia Ossorio, executive director of NOW’s New York City chapter. “But pregnancy discrimination is very real, and we always have to be cautious of anything that may fuel the perception that pregnant women and new mothers are less able.”
Greenfield said he did not expect a problem and noted that doctors and clergy get parking exemptions.
“There’s no question that discrimination against pregnant women exists, but I’m taking a proactive approach to help them,” he said.
Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Greg McCune