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3 Reasons Why Paid Abortion Leave Is Just Stupid

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Leo Correa

A new era of abortion acceptance has begun, and, typical of the abortion industry, it has to do with money. In several places across the United States, cities have begun to offer bereavement time off for abortions—meaning that men and women are now being compensated and given days off for killing their child. 


This new policy has popped up in cities like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Portland, Oregon. In both Pittsburgh and Portland, city workers can get up to three days of fully paid bereavement leave off following a loss of pregnancy—and abortion is included as an eligible “loss” of pregnancy (similarly, the City of Boston pays workers for up to 12 weeks of abortion time off under the guise of “parental leave”). Portland’s ordinance even goes so far as to specifically outline that abortions do not need to be “deemed medically necessary” in order to qualify for this leave.  

These pro-abortion cities are calling this “bereavement leave,” but that smells a little fishy.  

In the coming weeks, I will be taking bereavement leave for a couple days following the death of my grandmother. The time off will be spent travelling for her funeral and comforting loved ones in their grief. We will celebrate her beautiful life and mourn the lack of her presence in our lives now. The purpose of my bereavement leave will be to commemorate her.  

But what is the purpose of bereavement leave following an abortion? Who are they commemorating? After all, the meaning of bereavement is the “state of being sad because a family member or friend has recently died.”  

According to some pro-abortion supporters, no one dies during an abortion. Many pro-abortion supporters refuse to accept that preborn children are alive. They refuse to call victims of abortion violence ‘babies,’ referring instead to preborn children as ‘clumps of cells’ or ‘pregnancy tissue.’  Abortion advocates who do acknowledge that a child dies in abortion often portray this as a positive or empowering fact. 


To give men and women bereavement leave following an abortion is a logical inconsistency.  

Here are three reasons why:

1. Pro-abortion supporters do not get to talk out of both sides of their mouth. There is either a child who has been killed during an abortion, or there’s not. (Spoiler alert, there is a child!) If there’s a child being killed during an abortion, abortion is wrong and should be illegal because children shouldn’t be killed. That means there is no place for paid abortion leave.  

2. If pro-abortion supporters insist that the preborn are just clumps of cells and not really children, then there should be nothing to mourn about an abortion. We don’t do bereavement leave for colonoscopies, do we? If an abortion is an innocuous medical procedure, there is no place for paid abortion bereavement leave.  

3. If pro-abortion supporters want to argue for paid abortion leave on the basis that women need recovery time after an abortion, that doesn’t fall under bereavement. It also defeats their lie that abortions are safe and easy, a myth widely propagated by the abortion industry. Once again, this policy is inappropriate.  

Additionally, what message does it send to parents who are suffering the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, or the loss of an older child, when city officials place elective abortion in the same category and grant the same benefits to a parent who has intentionally snuffed out the life of his or her child? It is a mockery of the suffering of parents who loved their children. 


To make matters even worse, these cities are compounding the injustice by making taxpayers violate their consciences by paying for this abortion leave with their hard-earned money.  

SFLA is on the ground working to change these policies. In Portland, Oregon, SFLA has launched its Campaign for Abortion Free Cities, and every day we get closer to our goal of eradicating abortion therein—and everywhere else, too.  

Pro-life advocates should work proactively in their cities and states to stop similar policies from going into effect. Paid abortion leave will not become a norm in our country if SFLA and the Pro-Life Generation have anything to say about it — and we certainly do.  

Caroline Wharton is Staff Writer for Students for Life of America and Students for Life Action.

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