A seldom-read section of Portland city government's human resources policy has started to draw national attention from abortion-rights advocates.
The Portland City Council unanimously approved changes earlier this month to its bereavement leave policy that advocates say puts Portland on the cutting edge of abortion-rights legislation. With that vote, advocates say, the city became the first in the nation to allow public employees to take paid time off after an abortion.
Under the new policy, city employees will be able to take up to three days of bereavement leave if they've had a miscarriage, stillbirth or any other type of pregnancy loss. The policy states that this includes abortion "irrespective of whether deemed medically necessary."
Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst with reproductive health research organization Guttmacher Institute, has been tracking local reproductive health policy for more than two decades. She said bereavement leave that incorporates miscarriages and stillbirths is rare. She'd never heard of policies that include abortion.
"This is just incredibly uncommon," she said.
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