Paid parental leave is long overdue in the United States

The numbers are staggering: out of nearly 170 countries across the globe, only the United States and Papua New Guinea refuse to provide cash benefits to women during maternity leave.

In a 2012 study by the National Partnership for Women and Families that examined the effectiveness of states in improving upon federal law on the subject of parental leave, Virginia received a disheartening D grade. The lack of expansion upon federal rights or
protections for new or expecting parents who are employed in the private sector certainly did not help that grade. Although, to be fair, Virginia did relatively well — considering that nearly half of the United States scored a D- or F.
While all politicians intermittently wave the flag of family values, however, research has steadily shown that women who take maternity leave experience positive health benefits. Paternal leave, studies suggest, allows increased involvement of fathers with their children, which leads to significant positive developmental and cognitive effects. Being able to afford staying home with a new child is only practical if maternity and paternity leaves are paid.
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