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Meghan Markle Supports A Paid Leave Mandate For All Parents in Open Letter to Congress

Meghan Markle Supports A Paid Leave Mandate For All Parents in Open Letter to Congress

Meghan Markle has opened up about her personal upbringing in a letter to Congress.

In the Duchess of Sussex’s open letter, addressed to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Meghan advocates for paid family leave.

“I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician. I am, like many, an engaged citizen and a parent,” Meghan began her letter. “And because you and your congressional colleagues have a role in shaping family outcomes for generations to come, that’s why I’m writing to you at this deeply important time—as a mom—to advocate for paid leave.”

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Meghan continued on, noting that the issue is much more important as more women exit the workforce amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has exposed long-existing fault lines in our communities. At an alarming rate, millions of women dropped out of the workforce, staying home with their kids as schools and daycares were closed, and looking after loved ones full-time. The working mom or parent is facing the conflict of being present or being paid. The sacrifice of either comes at a great cost.” she explained.

Meghan went on, “For many, this sacrifice goes back further than the past 20 months; it’s 20 or 30 years, even longer, decades of giving time, body, and endless energy not just in the pursuit of the American dream, but simply the dream of stability.”

She also drew on her personal upbringing, remembering times when she, her mom Doria Ragland, and father, Thomas Markle, did struggle.

“I worked all my life and saved when and where I could—but even that was a luxury—because usually it was about making ends meet and having enough to pay my rent and put gas in my car,” she says.

“In June, my husband and I welcomed our second child. Like any parents, we were overjoyed. Like many parents, we were overwhelmed. Like fewer parents, we weren’t confronted with the harsh reality of either spending those first few critical months with our baby or going back to work,” she added. “We knew we could take her home, and in that vital (and sacred) stage, devote any and everything to our kids and to our family. We knew that by doing so we wouldn’t have to make impossible choices about childcare, work, and medical care that so many have to make every single day.”

“No family should be faced with these decisions,” Meghan wrote. “No family should have to choose between earning a living and having the freedom to take care of their child (or a loved one, or themselves, as we would see with a comprehensive paid leave plan).”

She then advocated for a national paid-leave mandate for all American parents.

“In taking care of your child, you take care of your community, and you take care of your country—because when paid leave is a right, we’re creating a foundation that helps address mental health outcomes, health care costs, and economic strength at the starting line,” she said. “Paid leave should be a national right, rather than a patchwork option limited to those whose employers have policies in place, or those who live in one of the few states where a leave program exists. … This is about putting families above politics.”

“On behalf of my family, Archie and Lili and Harry, I thank you for considering this letter, and on behalf of all families, I ask you to ensure this consequential moment is not lost,” she concluded.

Read it all in full below:

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Posted to: Meghan Markle

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