WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson on Thursday introduced the Helping with Equal Access to Leave and Investing in Needs for (HEALING) Mothers and Fathers Act. This legislation would amend the Family and Medial Leave Act (FMLA) to include spontaneous loss of an unborn child as a qualifying condition for FMLA leave and establish a refundable tax credit for mothers and families who suffer the loss of a child in the womb or during delivery.
“Expecting parents who endure a stillbirth, the loss of a baby after 20 weeks or more through a pregnancy, should be able to mourn their baby without the added stress of expensive medical bills. Our legislation will give families the time and resources to help them through this unimaginable loss,” Hinson said.
U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
“No amount of money can heal the unexpected loss of a child, but parents must be given time to mourn. Our bill will ensure families are given the resources and support they need to recover,” he said in a released statement
Should the legislation pass, women and their spouses would be entitled to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for loss of an unborn child. Spontaneous loss of an unborn child is defined in the bill as “the loss of a child in the womb that is unplanned and not resulting from a purposeful act.”
The bill also establishes a $3,600 refundable tax credit for any mother, or couple, who suffers a stillbirth. Stillbirth is defined in the legislation as “the delivery of a child where there was a spontaneous death, not induced by any purposeful act, before the complete delivery from the child’s mother.”
A family would be eligible for the tax credit if a stillbirth certificate, under applicable state law, has been issued for the child. The funds can not be used for an abortion procedure. The bill also prohibits Title X funds from going to abortion providers.
Read the bill below:HINSON_049_SIGNED