Maternity leave policies are not where they should be in the United States—and this surreal video from the National Partnership for Women and Families drives that point home.
Countless couples in the United States understand how tough it can be to expect a child, knowing all too well that when the baby arrives, you'll be faced with an incredibly tough choice: You can head back to work right away, while your body is still healing and the thought of leaving your baby with someone else all day long seems unbearable—or, you can take maternity leave without pay and risk the possibility of not being able to afford diapers or food for your family.
This shouldn't be a reality—but thanks to the fact that parents aren't legally entitled to paid parental leave in the U.S., it is. So what if pregnant ladies had a third choice?
A PSA from the National Parternship for Women and Families imagines a world in which women can choose to remain pregnant until they can save up enough vacation days and use them to cover family leave. The PSA features a woman named Lauren, who is five years pregnant.
The video, which is narrated by actress Sophia Bush, is called "A Long Five Years."
"Lauren can't afford to take time off to have her baby, so she's decided to just stay pregnant," the video's voiceover explains. "Neither Lauren or her husband have paid family leave. He used up his vacation days caring for his elderly mother, so she's stockpiling her vacation and sick days so she can give birth when her baby is six years old. They talked about moving to a country that does have paid family leave—which is almost every country except the United States—but Lauren isn't allowed to fly."
The video is really eye-opening, and even though moms can't actually make the choice to just stay pregnant for years, the dilemma presented in the video is very, very real for far too many Americans.
"It’s absurd that most U.S. workers–86 percent –don’t have paid family leave through their employers. And only some are lucky enough to live in the four states that have paid family and medical leave laws," the video's caption reads. "But we can change this."
Sounds like a job for the new administration, don't you think?