Boston City Council to consider granting handicapped parking placards to pregnant women

A Boston City Council member is asking to grant handicapped parking privileges to pregnant women and new moms.

Dorchester City Councilor John Fitzgerald is the one who first came up with the idea. He says women who are in their third trimester or have given birth in the last six months should have access to a placard.

Fitzgerald says he got the idea from his wife who dealt with mobility issues during her three pregnancies.

“I remember the day when my wife, well into pregnancy said at the time in probably slightly more colorful language that she should be able to park in handicap spots given her condition,” Fitzgerald said at Wednesday’s city council meeting. “I only imagine it would help. If you said, ‘Let me take the weight off your shoulders a bit. Let me shorten the distance you have to go,’” he said.

FitzGerald’s hearing order mentions walking difficulties for pregnant women due to back pain or swollen feet as well as potential associated medical conditions.

It does not suggest adding more handicapped parking spaces in the city.

“What we have to do is be mindful of the people who have handicap placards now and that we’re not infringing on any of their rights,” he added.

This proposal is being co-sponsored by two other council members who are young fathers.

“Now you extrapolate that out and think when you have your second child and third child and you are trying to get your 2-year-old out of the car while dealing with being pregnant in the third trimester and the effects that come with that” Fitzgerald added.

Boston 25 News spoke with several new mothers in Boston who believe the measure would be very helpful.

“I could have used that. I could still now,” said Maggie Fiore, who gave birth six weeks ago. “It would be great to not have to circle the block when you’re that big and uncomfortable.”

“I think it sounds like a great idea,” said Sarah Pelley, who gave birth eight weeks ago. “It’s tough for sure.”

Not everyone is on board with the idea in a tightly packed city where even handicapped parking spaces can be coveted.

“Handicap people are handicap, but a pregnant woman, that’s not handicapped,” said Norine Shults. “It’s what nature brings.”

Advocates for people with disabilities, residents with handicap placards, pregnant women, and new moms will be invited to testify at an upcoming hearing to share their thoughts.

It’s unclear when the measure will go before the city council and when there will be a public hearing.

Illinois and Texas are two states that have parking policies explicitly for pregnant women.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW