A coalition of advocates this week is calling for the expansion of New York's paid family leave program to include mothers and birthing parents of stillborn babies.
The measure is meant to provide a boost to maternal and postpartum health and address what the coalition, PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy, calls a loophole in the existing measure.
"Continuing to force postpartum mothers of stillborn babies to choose between their paycheck and recovering their physical health undermines your leadership on improving maternal health in New York State," the group wrote to Assembly Labor Committee Chair Latoya Joyner. "Please do the right thing and schedule a vote on this bill."
The state Senate in March unanimously approved the measure.
New York's paid family leave program was first approved in 2016 and over the years has paid out more than $2.2 billion in claims.
In 2021, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law an expansion of the program to include siblings and later backed the implementation of 12 weeks of paid family leave for state workers.
There have been additional proposals to expand the program to make them portable, cover people who are unemployed and end caps on benefits under the medical leave law.