miscarriage 060922SPRINGFIELD – The burden of silence many people face when returning to the workplace almost immediately following the loss of a pregnancy can cause emotional upheaval. State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) passed a newly signed law to allow people to take leave following pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or other fertility issues.

“The emotional anguish suffered after a miscarriage or stillbirth is often debilitating,” Bush said. “Returning to work sooner than they’d like leaves little room for grief, mourning and healing.”

Bush’s Senate Bill 3120 creates the Support Through Loss Act by providing up to 10 days of unpaid leave following a pregnancy loss, stillbirth or an unsuccessful intrauterine insemination, among other issues negatively impacting pregnancy or fertility.

The idea for the law came from Kyra Jagodzinski, a then 16-year-old intern of Bush’s who came to her with the issue and worked alongside the Senator, governor and the legislature to pass the measure to support families in their time of need.

“Over my life, I watched as my parents struggled with the loss of family and I saw people close to me struggle with fertility challenges and pregnancy loss,” Kyra said. “As a 17-year-old, I did my best to confront them but found a system that left them without support. The Support Through Loss Act provides Illinois residents with a time to grieve the loss of immediate family members and to-be family members.” 

One in six women who have a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy suffer from long-term post-traumatic stress, and approximately 15% of those who experience pregnancy loss develop severe depression or anxiety. Pregnancy loss not only has physical impacts, but mental and psychosocial implications. It also causes immense emotional stress for their spouses.

Bush’s law allows those impacted by these traumatizing circumstances to take time off work to address both their physical and emotional needs.

“It’s important that we recognize that anyone experiencing this kind of loss need time to grieve,” Bush said.

Under the law, people will also be allowed 10 days of unpaid leave for the death of an immediate family member.

SB 3120 was signed into law Thursday.