Pregnancy Health

Should Pregnant Women Be Able To Park In Handicapped Parking?

A Southern California lawmaker is proposing to the state Legislature,  that women in their third trimester of pregnancy should be able to park in a spot reserved for the disabled.

AB 1940 would declare all women in their final three months of pregnancy, and through their first two months after giving birth, as having a “temporary disability.” They could then pay $6 to the Department of Motor Vehicles to access any disabled spot in California marked with a blue and white wheelchair symbol for that five-month period.

The proposed law, similar to a measure that failed four years ago, is drawing criticism from some advocates for the disabled, who say blue-zone parking is in short supply; from women’s rights groups, who dislike labeling pregnancy as a disability; and from a coalition of ob-gyns, who encourage their patients to exercise.

“Overall, physicians want pregnant women to be active, so this bill is actually counterproductive,” said Shannon Smith-Crowley, legislative advocate for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists chapter in California.

I agree with the women’s rights groups. Who thought of this??  It makes us all look incompetent.  Women have been getting pregnant for centuries and haven’t needed to park closer to the store…

Being pregnant is not a handicap and I think most expectant moms know that.

Besides, many stores across North America offer expecting mom parking spots close to the door.  Isn’t that good enough?


About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!


  • Actually, I disagree that it makes pregnant women look “incompetent”. Disabled people aren’t incompetent. (I know, I know, I’m demanding political correctness here. ;)) Disabled people have mobility impairments and find it hard to walk longer distances and dodge cars to get from the parking lot to the store. Additionally, they may have difficulty navigating icy parking lots during winter months. Or they may have a hard time with the heat in summer months.

    Sounds a lot like many pregnant women, actually.

    Truthfully, I’m not speaking so much from personal experience since I had much more difficulty with walking in my first month (morning sickness and terrible dizziness) than I ever had in my third month where I actually walked something like 8 miles the day before my due date before going into labor. 🙂

    Neither pregnant women nor the disabled are “incompetent”. And being labeled “disabled” is not a label of incompetency. I do wish people would stop perceiving it as such.

    I agree that it’s a somewhat silly idea since moms should be active. I think that women should be allowed to apply if they have other factors that combine with the pregnancy to make them more disabled. Sciatica, high risk of pre-term labor, etc.

    While I agree (sort of) with allowing moms to use the parking spaces for the last month before delivery and the first few weeks after… I’m not so sure about the proposed time span of 5 months. That just seems like overkill.

  • I absolutely agree that women in their third trimester should be allowed to use the disability parking. I am 35 weeks pregnant, and while some women may have breezy, lovely pregnancies, that is not always the case for all of us. My pregnancy has been an utter nightmare, not for the baby who is physically perfect, but for me the mother who has suffered physically.

    I do not want to be treated as an equal at this point during my pregnancy. I am not equal to someone who is not pregnant. It is terribly hard to get around (and I am not overweight even – just huge for my size !), so what is this ridiculous idea that it would “make us look incompetent”. I think the fact that I am having a baby at all negates that concept completely !

    I think from seven months on through the first month at least considering the cumbersome nature of a newborn baby. I now know that being pregnant is not the joy it is presented as being. When the baby gets here – that is the joy !

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