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Are pregnant women disabled?

pregnant-belly.jpgAccording to a piece of proposed California legislation, kinda. The bill would give women in their last three months of pregnancy (plus the first two post-birth months) the ability to park in disabled parking spaces and to park at meters without paying. Assemblyman Chuck DeVore says that folks just need to be reasonable: “There are challenges, physical challenges, that arise as a natural part of life.”

Makes sense to me. But not to folks who opposed similar legislation four years ago, not just because it would make it harder for other disabled folks to find parking, but because pregnant women should be exercising as much as possible. A spokeswoman for the California chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says: “We really want pregnant women to be active, to be moving, to be walking.” Plus, she says, if pregnant women truly need a disable parking placard, they can already get it.

That also makes sense to me. So does the worry of the executive director of the local chapter of the National Organization for Women, who thinks labeling pregnant women as disabled could send the wrong message.

All of which is why, I gather, the last bill died four years ago. And I suspect this one will share a similar fate.

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Next up will of course allowing anyone over 65 to park in Handicapped spaces.

In Coon Rapids, IA they have designated parking spots for pregnant women that have a sign showing a stork carrying a baby. That seems to be an equitable solution to at least the social issues.