In America, Staying Pregnant Forever Is Easier Than Getting Time Off Work

She can barely fit in the elevator

In almost every country around the world, we rightfully choose to celebrate pregnancy and childbirth. After all, it’s the very essence of propagating the continued existence of our species. It’s all the more strange then how we simultaneously put pregnant women through a seemingly endless series of trials when they are already carrying the heaviest burden, literally and metaphorically, life can thrust upon them.

America in particular, doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to giving expecting mothers the paid time off they need after giving birth. That point is illustrated in a provocative new video from the National Partnership for Women & Families.

In the short clip, we are introduced to Laruen, a paralegal who has chosen to literally stay pregnant for five continues years rather than give birth, because there’s no way she can afford to take time off to physically recover or take care of a newborn child. According to the group, 86 percent of U.S. workers do not have access to paid family leave.

“Lauren can’t afford to take time off work to take care of her baby,” the video’s narrator explains. “So, she’s decided to just stay pregnant.”

In this scenario, a real-life woman in Lauren’s position would have to save up six years worth of paid vacation time in order to schedule off the time other countries freely give their employees to take care of newborn children.

“Keeping a toddler in your uterus is a challenge,” the narrator says over surreal footage of Lauren waddling around her office while a very much grown up baby moves around inside her belly. “But she tries to think of it as extra bonding time.”

“And since the U.S. is the only developed country that doesn’t have paid paternity leave, Lauren just has to keep the kid in. Besides, what’s a better option? America having a rational paid leave policy? That’s crazy.”

via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

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