But really, this is no laughing matter. Forcing women to choose between financial stability and family is a choice women worldwide consider a violation of their human rights. Why are American women okay with the options presented by The Onion video above? Because this is how it really is now in America: have a child or have a career. To understand how shockingly behind the rest of the world America is on maternity and family leave, consider the video that appeared on Buzzfeed this fall:
More on Maternity Leave from MomsRising:
- Having a baby is a leading cause of “poverty spells” in the U.S. — when income dips below what’s needed for basic living expenses.
- In the U.S., 49% of mothers cobble together paid leave following childbirth by using sick days, vacation days, disability leave, and maternity leave.
- 51% of new mothers lack any paid leave — so some take unpaid leave, some quit, some even lose their jobs.
- The U.S is one of only 4 countries that doesn’t offer paid leave to new mothers — the others are Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Lesotho.
- Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20% (and the U.S. ranks a low 37th of all countries in infant mortality).