Every Comment On Parental Leave Articles

It doesn’t matter how reasonable an article it is. The comments are the same.

“Advantages” like two weeks of unpaid leave followed by a lifetime of depressed wages? OK. Indeed, this article is about parents, specifically fathers, being penalized by their workplaces and turning to the courts in increasing numbers for restitution. But, whatever, JXG, don’t let me and my facts get in the way of your talking points.

I hope in your next life you’re reincarnated as a teething toy.

Does this even bear repeating? The government doesn’t mandate paid leave. It doesn’t even mandate unpaid leave. 1993’s Family Medical Leave Act is like a quilt sewn almost entirely of loopholes. Moreover, it is careful not to apply only to parents. See how it’s called FAMILY Medical Leave Act, not PARENTS’? Any eligible worker can take FMLA leave to take care of an immediate family member — yes, including the childless, who must “suffer” through life, aided only by their luxurious weekends, unstained couches, and disposable income.

You can even use FMLA to cover the time you regularly take off to meet with your therapist! How childless-friendly is that? (Not that parents don’t also need therapy; we simply have less time and money on average to spend on self-care.)

The article even points this out, though again, facts, WHATEVER:

Few employers provide paid leave for new fathers or new mothers: Only 17 percent of companies in a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management offered paid paternity leave, while 21 percent offered paid maternity leave.

Robert Salm, I hope in your next life you’re reincarnated as a changing table.

And in case you’re about to conclude that this phenomenon is a Men Only one:

I am happy to address your faux concern, Eva! Please see above. But the most insidious part of your argument is your declaration that “deciding to have a child is a choice.” I agree that it should be! Parenthood shouldn’t be forced on anyone, especially if people like JXG get their way and people who have children are expected to quit their jobs altogether.

Except voluntary, what you might call planned, parenthood, is less and less possible as abortion becomes harder to come by. Guttmacher explains:

So far this year, states have enacted 51 new abortion restrictions; this brings the number of restrictions enacted since 2010 to 282. Although only about a dozen states remain in session as of July 1, these states may well enact additional restrictions before the end of the year. Following the recent pattern of increased restrictions in odd-numbered years (largely because not all legislatures are in session in even-numbered years), states have enacted more restrictions during the first half of this year than during all of last year …

three of the five states to adopt waiting period requirements this year also require women to receive abortion counseling at the abortion facility, effectively necessitating two trips. … 14 states require women to make two trips to obtain an abortion.

The LA Times summarizes:

access is becoming more limited than at any time since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision legalizing the procedure in 1973.

Some places are even making it harder to obtain birth control, and that can be an expensive and annoying process as it is! So please spare me the “having a child is a choice” thing. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. Once a child exists, though, it is a reality and must be dealt with in a kind and humane fashion by society at large. Otherwise what kind of a society can we even pretend to be?

Eva Klein, I hope in your next life you’re reincarnated as a burp cloth.

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