Should pregnant women and new parents be afforded the same parking privileges as those with disabilities? It's an issue that is stirring up controversy in the Commonwealth.
Earlier this week, House Speaker Greg Stumbo filed a bill that would allow pregnant women and parents with children under the age of one year the opportunity to utilize the same parking spaces as those with physical disabilities.
The idea does not sit well with the Baker family of Paris. They have a son with cerebral palsy and they rely on handicapped parking spaces, especially since they need room to operate a wheelchair lift. They say it's already difficult to find available parking spaces. Furthermore, they're not convinced that all pregnant women and new moms are in need of such accommodations.
Karen Baker says she does not have a problem with women who have been labeled as having high-risk pregnancies or those who have limited mobility gaining access to handicapped spaces. However, she does not feel that pregnancy is a true handicap.
"The (parking spaces) were designed for people with disabilities and for the safe entry and exit of their vehicle," she said.
The Baker's say they would be a little more open to the idea if more spots were created to accommodate new moms and moms-to-be. However, at this point, the bill does not include such a measure.