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Parking Perks On The Way For NYC's Pregnant Women?

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- Pregnant women could soon be enjoying some parking perks in New York City if one councilman has his way.

New mothers enjoying a tummy time class at the Prenatal Yoga Center on the Upper West Side would have appreciated a new bill to benefit pregnant woman that could become law in the city.

Free parking in "No Standing" or "No Parking" zones would be extended to pregnant women with mobility issues or physical problems.

Councilman David Greenfield will introduce the bill next week. The law would require a doctor's note to get a special parking placard that would expire 30 days after the woman's due date.

Deb Flashenberg started the Prenatal Yoga Center eight years ago, and she's now 16 weeks pregnant with her first child. She told CBS 2's Wendy Gillette that she is in favor of the legislation.

"I don't think all pregnant women need it," Flashenberg said. "I think the average pregnant woman is very strong, and can walk, but I think for someone who's high-risk and having a hard time getting around, and to do high risk errands, I think it's a great idea."

New mother Chasya-Urial Steinbauer says don't stop there – she wants to extend the benefits to all pregnant women.

"It's trying enough to carry all of that weight and to have to park the furthest distance and go," Steinbauer said. "I just think it would be a very family-friendly, woman-friendly, pregnant-friendly society to allow her to park as close as possible."

Sonia Ossorio, the executive director of the National Organization for Women in New York City, however, says that would be counterproductive.

The mother of a two-year-old girl says the parking privileges are a thoughtful idea, but worries they'll lead to increased workplace discrimination against pregnant women.

"We don't want employers to start thinking, 'uh-huh, you're right - they can't get anywhere, they can't do their job effectively, they're not as dedicated,'" Ossorio said.

Pregnant women who qualify would not be able to park in handicapped spaces, but they certainly would get a much better shot at finding a place in a city packed with cars.

Two states – Georgia and Oklahoma – already have similar laws on the books.

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