New York State wants to become the first state to give pregnant women paid time off from work.

On Thursday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said New York State is dealing with an infant mortality crisis.

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Darren McGee- Office of Governor
Darren McGee- Office of Governor

“Make no mistake: we are facing a maternal and infant mortality crisis,” Hochul said. “As New York’s first mom governor, this is personal to me. We are committed to tackling this crisis head-on with policies that lift up parents and children throughout the State of New York.”

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Gov. Hochul announced her six-point plan to tackle New York's maternal and infant mortality crisis. CLICK HERE for the full plan.

The plan includes a first-in-the-nation prenatal leave.

Creating First-In-The-Nation Statewide Paid Prenatal Leave

Photo set of a youth pregnant mother

Hochul's plan calls for 40 hours of paid leave for prenatal care, making New York the first in the nation to give pregnant women paid time off during pregnancy.

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Hochul wants to expand New York’s nation-leading statewide Paid Family Leave policy to include 40 hours of paid leave to attend prenatal medical appointments.

"Studies show that prenatal health care is highly correlated with improved health outcomes for mothers and infants; pregnant mothers who have access to regular prenatal medical visits are less likely to die in childbirth and their newborns are more likely to be healthy," Hochul's office states in a press release.

Under the current New York State law, short-term disability benefits are not available until a month before a child is born, after a week waiting period.


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"Adding prenatal care as a separate qualifying event under PFL will enable pregnant workers to ensure their medical needs are met without sacrificing their ability to support the household, or paid leave available for bonding following the birth," Hochul's office adds.

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