July 20, 2021

Duckworth, Pressley Introduce Bill to Support Families Experiencing Pregnancy Loss, Invest in Research


Bicameral Bill Would Shine Light on Pregnancy Loss, Increase Access to Resources, Workforce Supports and Patient-Centered Care

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) today introduced legislation to raise awareness about pregnancy loss and establish new paid leave benefits for workers experiencing painful challenges while seeking to grow their family. The Support Through Loss Act would support those experiencing the loss of a pregnancy or other challenges starting a family by increasing access to workforce supports, access to resources and patient-centered care. It would also have the Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control develop and disseminate public information regarding pregnancy loss and invest in the National Institutes of Health to expand and coordinate research and programs with respect to pregnancy loss.

The decision to start a family can be so many things—thrilling, life-changing and carefully thought out—but the road to parenthood is not always easy and for many, it can be full of setbacks and disappointments,” said Duckworth. “My family faced our own heartbreaks and challenges when growing our family and I wouldn’t have my two girls today if it weren’t for the miracle of IVF. The Support Through Loss Act would provide so many hopeful parents with the support they need when experiencing loss, which is why I’m so proud to introduce this bill with Congresswoman Pressley to shine a light on the experiences of families across the nation.” 

“Pregnancy loss should be met with care, compassion and support. It is a common experience, but many struggle in silence due to the lack of awareness and cultural stigma,” said Pressley. “Our bill sends a message to families that they are not alone, and would support those experiencing the loss of a pregnancy by providing them with the resources, workforce supports, and care necessary to recover and heal. I am grateful to Senator Duckworth and to our advocates for their close partnership on this long-overdue legislation.”

Specifically, the Support Through Loss Act would:

  • Ensure employers provide at least three days of paid leave for workers to process and cope following a pregnancy loss, an unsuccessful assisted reproductive technology procedure, a failed adoption arrangement, a failed surrogacy arrangement, or a medical diagnosis or event that impacts pregnancy or fertility.
  • Have the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, develop and disseminate public information regarding pregnancy loss, including information on the incidence and prevalence of pregnancy loss, as well as the range of treatment options for pregnancy loss and recurrent pregnancy loss.
  • Invest $45 million annually to the National Institutes of Health for federal research into miscarriage and pregnancy loss.

Full bill text can be found here.

Along with Duckworth and Pressley, the Support Through Loss Act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

This legislation is supported by the National Partnership for Women and Families, the National Women's Law Center, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Center for Reproductive Rights, March of Dimes, Physicians for Reproductive Health, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Association, In Our Own Voice, Quietly in Loss Together, the American Society for Reproductive Medicines, MANA, A National Latina Organization, Workplace Fairness, Jewish Women International and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Birth Equity Collaborative, National Domestic Violence Hotline.