The European Union might soon be a happier place for expectant mothers, as the BBC explains:
The European Commission has proposed extending fully-paid maternity leave from 14 weeks to 18 weeks...
Maternity leave currently varies from 14 weeks in Germany to 18 months in Sweden, with many countries offering less than 18 weeks.
The proposed new rules would guarantee that women in the 27 EU countries would not be sacked during or immediately after maternity leave.
Governments would be free to offer new mothers more time off, but would have to pay them at least as much as sick leave.
Do you know how much fully-paid maternity leave women in the United States are guaranteed? 0 days. None. We're one of the few nations in the world that does not ensure some paid maternity leave. Many countries in Europe and the Americas offer paid paternity leave as well. Not us. If we really wanted to be a nation that valued families and parenthood, we'd be drafting legislation that would bring us more in line with our pro-parenting neighbors. Why aren't we talking about this issue in our presidential debates?
Oh, that's right - 'family values' has nothing to do with valuing families, and everything to do denying rights to same-sex couples and denying information about sex to teens. How naive of me to believe that we could actually care about what's best for working mothers or their babies here in the U.S. of A.
I really wish a question about parental leave had been asked in last night's debates.