Portland’s abortion ‘bereavement leave’ for employees begs the question: Who died?

Portland, abortion bereavement

The city of Portland recently amended its bereavement leave policy to allow city employees to take paid time off following any kind of pregnancy loss, including abortion, “irrespective of whether deemed medically necessary.” The city council unanimously approved the change. Portland is the first city in the nation to adopt this type of policy.

If “bereavement” is frequently defined as a period of grief or mourning after the death of a family member or loved one, and “bereavement leave” is time off of work that is granted to employees to mourn that death, then this amended policy begs the question: who died?

Granting this type of leave following an abortion is a tacit admission of the humanity and family membership of the one who has been aborted — something abortion advocates almost never do.

The policy change was inspired, in part, by New Zealand’s recently implemented program granting paid leave to women following natural pregnancy loss. Michelle Rodriguez, a senior policy advisor in Portland Commissioner Mingus Mapps’ office, said she had been monitoring developments in New Zealand after hearing about many city employees taking vacation days and sick days following their pregnancy losses. 

However, she felt the policy needed to be taken a step further to incorporate abortion. One staffer Rodriguez spoke to had taken unpaid time off following her abortion. “She essentially took days without pay to deal with both her physical reaction to what ended up being a medical termination with her doctor’s help and the emotional and psychological impact of what happened,” Rodriguez said. “I’m like, ‘OK, we need to figure out how to actually call this out and be proudly saying that this city wants to support families as they’re going through this process.’”

The new policy allows up to three days’ bereavement leave after an abortion, miscarriage, or stillbirth. Abortion advocates were quick to applaud the change.

READ: Portland authorities again try and fail to silence pro-lifers

Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health, an abortion advocacy group, said she believed the policy could help “destigmatize” abortion. “It’s important to recognize that employees need time to address their reproductive health needs … and they may need time to process what they’re experiencing,” Miller said. 

But what, exactly, are they experiencing?

The Portland City Council is staunchly pro-abortion. It voted to set aside $200,000 for “abortion care” to offset the effects of Texas residents who might happen to come to their city for that purpose; it also voted to ban business dealings with that state following the implementation of the Texas Heartbeat Act. 

So it is ironic that people on the pro-abortion side, which frequently refers to preborn children as “pregnancies” — processes rather than people — would pass legislation to grant paid time for mourning the deaths of precisely those people whose humanity they deny. If a life has not been ended, then what, exactly, is being mourned? And conversely, if mourning is necessary, then the death of someone whose life had value must have taken place. 

It is also ironic for the Portland City Council to vote to pay for bereavement leave following abortion on one hand, while paying to fund abortions on the other. Why vote to fund something that precipitates mourning, which requires yet more funding? Why promote something that causes grief? 

The Portland City Council has inadvertently evidenced that logical behavior cannot be expected from those who repudiate the humanity of the preborn, thereby living in denial of reality.

“Like” Live Action News on Facebook for more pro-life news and commentary!

What is Live Action News?

Live Action News is pro-life news and commentary from a pro-life perspective. Learn More

Contact for questions, corrections, or if you are seeking permission to reprint any Live Action News content.

GUEST ARTICLES: To submit a guest article to Live Action News, email with an attached Word document of 800-1000 words. Please also attach any photos relevant to your submission if applicable. If your submission is accepted for publication, you will be notified within three weeks. Guest articles are not compensated. (See here for Open License Agreement.) Thank you for your interest in Live Action News!

To Top