On Thursday U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R – AR) and U.S. Sen. Ashley Hinson (R – IA) filed the HEALING Mothers and Fathers Act.
The proposed legislation amends the federal 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Among other things, the measure adds “spontaneous loss of an unborn child” as a qualifying medical condition for leave under FMLA, and it establishes a $3,600 tax credit for any mother or couple that suffers the loss of a child in the womb.
The bill also prevents federal Title X funds from going to abortionists or to anyone who offers abortion referrals.
This would help stem the tide of taxpayer funds currently directed to organizations like Planned Parenthood.
Family Council has joined with Arkansas Right to Life, the National Right to Life Committee, and other pro-life organizations in endorsing this good measure.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to take leave for serious health conditions. However, many miscarriages and still births fail to meet the definition for a ‘serious health condition’ under FMLA, meaning the mother and her spouse may not qualify for leave.
In the event of a still birth, parents are more likely to face unexpected financial costs. This is due to uninsured
expenses, costs associated with preparing for a baby, and in some cases, longer hospital stays, genetic testing
costs, and burial expenses.
No amount of financial compensation can take away a family’s pain. However, Congress can ensure that
grieving parents can take time to mourn the loss of their unborn child and ease additional costs they may face
in the event of still birth.
The HEALING Mothers and Fathers Act is similar to Arkansas’ Act 935 of 2021 — also known as Paisley’s Law — which the Arkansas Legislature enacted earlier this year.
Act 935 provides Arkansans with a $500 income tax credit for the stillbirth of a child at or after 20 weeks gestation.
Photo Credit: Michael Vadon, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.