Christians Should Lead the Way on Family Leave

There are clear, pro-life reasons why mothers and fathers need time with new babies.

When our twins were born in 2019, I took six weeks off work. My husband did too—thanks to his then-employer’s family leave plan, offered equally to new mothers and fathers alike—and it’s impossible to overstate how indispensable his leave became.

It wasn’t that I had a difficult physical recovery. Mercifully, I didn’t, especially by the standard of multiples pregnancies. But I found I couldn’t set myself up for tandem nursing alone, which meant that without my husband’s help, I would have been nursing 50 percent of my hours every day—not my waking hours, all my hours. And if each twin took a full hour to eat, every two hours, nursing would’ve occupied 100 percent of my days and nights. I literally could not have done it by myself.

I’ve been thinking about the importance of paid family leave again recently, both because of personal circumstance—we’ve had some childcare disruptions, and once again my husband’s job made it possible for him to shoulder that task—and because it’s the subject of increasing political attention.

The Biden administration’s American Families Plan, introduced in April, would eventually provide 12 weeks of family leave per year, paid at up to $4,000 per month, should it become law.

Paid family leave is financially messy in the United States, where many of our benefits come through our employers. Some smaller businesses and organizations truly wouldn’t be able to comply with a mandate to provide lengthy leave, unless it were subsidized at a high enough level to pay both a new hire and the person on leave.

If employers of any size believe they can’t afford to comply, they might respond by refusing …

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