March 21, 2008

CA Regs: Pregs Or No Legs, Everyone Parks For Free

A California state legislator from Orange County has introduced a bill that would grant all pregnant women "temporarily disabled" status for the last trimester, plus the first couple of months after giving birth. This would enable them to join the other not-really-disabled people who hog all the sweet parking spaces, thereby forcing actual disabled people to circle the mall parking lot for several agonizing, extra minutes.

Beyond pointing out its obvious ridiculousness, I have nothing to say on the idea of treating pregnancy as a disability; I was just glad to finally figure out that headline.

California bill would give free parking to moms-to-be [sacbee via jason from daddyinastrangeland]


Oh boy, you better prepare for the snarling mommy posse to ride up your arse like a spiky armadillo. Once on a local town mailing list, prior to my own spawning, I pointed out that the local grocery store in question with the new rules that mommies could use the special parking was ridiculous as since when have women been considered handicapped when preggers or with kids. I got a lashing that made me wonder what demographic one proud 'self-proclaimed broodmare' fell into and how I managed to find myself within it. Just give them the parking and find an easier battle to fight. I never park in mommy parking as it offends my sense of ableness and women who seem to have been able to mange just fine all these years without such conveniences.

[thanks for the heads up. BRU has pregnant parking, and Ikea has family parking, and both seem like mighty fine ideas to me. But according to the news story, women with physically difficult pregnancies can already get parking permits with a doctor's note. Which would be required by the legislation anyway. So anyone who feels they need/want it, could already get it. The only difference is officially recognizing pregnancy as "disabled," which seems like more harm than good. -ed.]

I don't know if pregnant women and women with small children need special parking all over town, but I know I really appreciated that my old grocery store had it. It was right by the carts, so I didn't have to leave my child in the car while I ran around trying to find a cart, or carry her around and then try to transfer her to the cart. And cut pregnant women some slack; they aren't disabled, but you sure are uncomfortable and waddly those last few weeks.

Not disabled, no, although disability is what we get on maternity leave (this is California where we get 10 weeks). Our checks come from the EDD.

I don't have a problem being labeled disabled in the last trimester of pregnancy. We are talking a temporary situation and not about being intellectually disabled, just some physical limitations. The kind of limitations that make parking as close to the store entrance/exit as possible, a very desirable thing.

Imagine that two bowling balls are grinding against your pelvic bone from the INSIDE as you walk(waddle) across the car park. Just in case you can't imagine it- I 'll tell you it hurts as in stop-me-in-my-tracks-and-gasp hurts. I call that disbled from walking for long distances....wouldn't you?Heck I would have avoided walking at all but you can't leave it to the father to do the shopping for the baby(ies)- seriously-there should be special "shopping disabled" parking spots for some guys. You should see the lamp he bought unsupervised.ICK.

[yeah, and he probably brought the wrong brand of wipes, too. And did you see what he dressed the kid in this morning?? he should get "fashion-disabled" parking.

But how about this: "The Irvine Republican said it makes little sense to force a pregnant woman who has trouble getting out of her car, and might have a toddler in tow, to park in the outer reaches of a parking lot." Does a dad with a newborn and "a toddler in tow" get disabled status, too? At what point does this cross into the legislation of courtesy or convenience? -ed.]

I think if it hurts a woman as much as you describe, she should definitely get a note from her Dr. and get the official disabled placard.

However, I think most women have no problems like that. With my twins I was short on breath, but no pain until labor. A woman I know contra-danced several times weekly until the week before she gave birth. Pain is unusual and should be treated seriously by a Dr.

I've been pregnant twice and I've circled parking lots looking for handicapped parking places when driving a wheelchair bound friend. I'm with you, circling the parking lot is definitely worse. When you need those spaces there is no alternative. Normal parking spaces do not provide sufficient space to get the door open wide and get the wheelchair to the door. There is already a mechanism in place for temporary handicapped tags; people with broken legs and temporary medical conditions use it all the time. Third trimester isn't comfortable, but in the general case it isn't a handicap. Serious bowling ball pain can already get a temporary handicapped tag.

Pregnant twice with huge babies (the second one just under ten pounds), and the daughter of a woman who had a stroke when I was pregnant with the first one. I know that I was extremely fortunate in the easy pregnancies I had, and the fact that my husband, sister, and friends were able to spare me a lot of the errand running in the first two weeks postpartum. But I think I'd have to be MUCH MUCH worse off to think I merited a handicapped space. Sure, it would make life easier for me, but at what cost to someone who 1. didn't choose their "disability" and 2. had much more limited mobility?

Yuck. Bad precedent.

Yes, the third trimester is a little uncomfortable. But handicapped parking spaces? Please. My grandpa with a walker and dementia needs that space way more than my fat butt did, even at 41.5 weeks hauling around a 10 lb bowling ball.

If someone does have a legit medical complaint during pregnancy, they can get tags no problem. Heck, one of my friends got one for a chronic pregnancy-induced bladder infection. That way she could park close and run in to pee.

I do appreciate parental parking though. The stalls are a little bit bigger, so I can get the infant seat out. If we park in a normal space, some jerk in an Excursion always parks 3" from my car. That's when I let the 6 and 2 year olds open their own doors as hard as they can.

why would they have to take away from disabled parking? i'm not for that, but couldn't they just take one or two spots next to the disabled parking away from regular parkers? why does it have to be a battle? i know that after a long day of work in my last trimester i have felt like i just can't make it one more step. i don't see why there needs to be debate. If your feminine sensibilities are offended just drive on by lady and let those in need take the spot.

Actually, in CA, moms get 12 weeks of maternity leave, not 10. They get the standard 6 weeks of disability and another 6 weeks of Paid Family Medical Leave that is available to anyone who gives birth, adopts, or has an ill family member (parent, child, spouse) that requires their attention. It is also available as Paid Paternity Leave for New Dads.

The nice part of the PFML Act is that it can be taken in blocks as small as four hours at a time and for up to a year after the birth or adoption. It is paid for by additional Disability withholding from employee paychecks.

More on topic: There is a cafe here that offers parking just a bit further away than the Disabled parking and that is reserved for seniors and pregnant women. The place is always crowded and I had no problem using it from the day my wife's stick turned pink.

why can't everything just be delived to our door? why should we have to leave the house?

funny. When it's 105 degrees in Texas and your nine months pregnant a handicapped space can look pretty appealing.

Treating all third-trimester women as disabled is overboard, but for some it's really a disability.

My wife is a fine example. She'd gotten so bad I had to help her lift her feet into the car. She was merely a passenger at that point, but disabled status includes those who are temporarily disabled, with a placard placed over the rear view mirror.

Let hospitals determine disability status just like as if someone was in a car accident and broke a leg or whatnot. The fact that the mobility disability is related to pregnancy is irrelevant. A disabled person is disabled regardless of the cause. We're assessing effects.

i think just making it easier for those who want it to get the note from their doc to get a temporary disabled hang tag for their car. i would have if i'd had known...i was one of those horribly waddly bowling ball between the knees get this kid the F out of me pregnant types those last few weeks.

and not to mention post c-section, a hang tag would have been nice for a few weeks as i didn't have family around to do errands and a workaholic husband who was back at work full time 4 days after we came home from the hospital. and mine didn't heal up all nice overnight. it hurt.

however, there should definately be more retailers like ikea who have family parking. that is a brilliant solution that i don't think anyone can complain about.

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