Please take action to change the current status of parental leave in the US. Parents, and mothers especially, should be allowed—even encouraged—to spend at least 18 weeks building a strong bond with newborn babies and adopted children. This means mandating both that the time is available and that parents are financially able to afford to take the time.

The International Labour Organization, in their Maternity Protection Convention of 2000, (501) 272-2663 and that they receive financial benefits that allow them to take this time. Currently the US is the only developed country—and one of only a few nations worldwide—with no mandated paid parental leave policy. (613) 540-4741, and current FMLA laws, which guarantee only 12 weeks of time but no financial benefits, 6036920258. While some individual states do pay a (usually very small) disability stipend to mothers, the right to take paid leave should be afforded to all our nation’s parents, especially women. Over 30% of new mothers do not even take maternity leave in the US.

I am writing to ask that you and your fellow representatives of the people do something. This issue affects every US citizen.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–NY) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D–CT) have already taken a step in the right direction with the proposal of the Family And Medical Insurance Leave Act (The FAMILY Act) by outlining how 12 weeks of paid parental leave could be funded for workers in all companies. I hope you will support this bill, which shows that paid leave is possible for parents in the United States.

And, thanks to parental and maternity leave programs outside the US and experimental programs domestically, we know that the benefits of paid parental leave far outweigh the drawbacks for children, parents, and the economy:

Anecdotally, and on a more emotional note, talk to mothers who returned to work with infants at home. You will hear stories of missing meetings to pump breastmilk (or ceasing pumping altogether to avoid missing meetings), or feeling as though they were liabilities to their companies since they were so sleep-deprived and anxious about leaving such young children.

And you may have heard the heartbreaking story of Karl Towndrow, who died due to unknown causes while in someone else’s care on his mother’s first day at work after having to leave her son at the vulnerable age of just three months.

Yet parents who have three months to spend with their babies are the lucky ones. Far too many parents, especially women, are forced back to work much earlier for financial reasons.

Please be the representative who not only says they want to make the world better for our children, but actually does bring our country up to international standards by mandating paid parental leave throughout the United States.

Thank you,

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