Fox News Pundit Thinks Maternity Leave Is a ‘Racket’ (VIDEO)

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megyn KellyGet out your calendars and your black magic markers! A Fox News host actually asked the government to stick its nose into the lives of the American workforce and do a little something extra this week. Are you back up from the floor yet? Megyn Kelly dared to take time off when she had her baby earlier this spring, and colleague Mike Gallagher was so PO'd that she got to take a maternity leave, he called it a racket on national radio

Maybe he'd rather we have a bunch of sickly kids who grow into adults who need to live off the system? Moms who don't have enough time to recover from the trauma of birth or major surgery needing to go on disability because they pushed it too hard? Oh, that's right, Gallagher's a conservative. There's nothing he hates more than folks looking for a handout.

That usually goes for Kelly too, but now that she's back from her little racket, she went straight for Gallagher's jugular on her show this week. If anything, Kelly says, the United States is "in the dark ages" because it's one of the rare industrialized nations that doesn't require companies provide compensation for employees on maternity leave:

 

 

Kelly does a fair job of defending the Family Medical Leave Act to Gallagher, whose only excuse for the whole debacle was "I was drinking that day." But what she didn't address was the very reason conservatives should be working to improve the system. Because it saves the government money in the long run.

Studies have linked the ability for mothers to stay home with their children for a period after childbirth to everything from an increased chance the mom will be successful at breastfeeding to a reduction in C-sections, both of which are linked to healthier kids. For the mother herself, time home with the baby typically reduces her stress and chance that she'll develop depression, while a mom who is forced back to work early often displays poor health.

In other words, for folks like Gallagher who apparently need it spelled out for them, maternity leave for mom means fewer health costs for baby and mother alike. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Babies who had time with mom in the early days have been shown to exhibit increased cognitive skills. Considering the higher cost of special education, it's not a stretch to say the smarter a kid, the cheaper to educate when they reach public school. Everything we can do to enhance kid's brains saves us money.

So we have reduced health care costs. Reduced education costs. And what else? We have a happier, more stable workforce thanks to moms who are less stressed and less depressed. And in 20-some years when that child joins the workforce, we have a kid who got an enhanced start on life, bringing with them all that entails: a higher chance of good health, intelligence, emotional stability.

If maternity leave is a racket, it's the first racket I've seen that saves our country money AND enhances our future.

Do you agree with Gallagher?


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Leanne Carnegie

Crystalcloud-   Yes, I had a healthy delivery and established a good brestfeeding relationship within 6 weeks (not sure where you got 3 months from?), BUT I didn't go back to work.  I *chose* to stay home and made sacrifices to do so.    I know moms that have taken the entire first year off and then went back because they wanted to continue their career... you just have to plan for it, have a baby when and where it's possible for you IF that is what you want to do.    I met a new mom yesterday who had packed her entire house to move to where she could afford to stay home with her child only to find out her husband got a promotion and then they didn't have to move.


Also, If you have a c-section you get 8 weeks leave, which is really reasonable and comparable to other major surgeries.  


It all comes down to personal choice and responsability.  It's not our employers or the governments job to make these choices for us.  WE make these choices and we accept the personal, professional, finanancial and emotional ramifications of these choices because it is OUR lives.  No one elses, just ours.   That's what living in a free country is all about, we get to make our lives into what we want them to be.   Asking for more from the government is just asking them to control our lives, and I'm not okay with that.    What's that quote?  "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take all that you have"? 

nonmember avatar Anon

Motherhood is different for each mother. Maternity leave should be, too. That's why I believe it should be negotiated by each woman rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. One-size-fits-all hurts both career women and employers.

Other... OtherMonkey

Like nonmember, Krista, posted - it makes me glad to be Canadian.  52 weeks of mat leave is mandatory.  Your job is waiting for you afterwards should you choose to return to it.  Dads now also have the option - my cousin gave birth and she and her husband split the time off so they could both enjoy the bonding with their new son.  If I'd had to go back to work within the first 6-8 weeks I would've missed out on my daughter crawling, walking, talking for the first time.  I would've hated missing out on all of that just to keep my job.


Hoticedcoffee has a point.  Most of you (me included) don't like it but it is true.  I disagree that a woman in the workplace makes herself less valuable by having children but I do think that it can and does influence employers choices sometimes.

Leanne Carnegie

othermonkey-  So, is it paid leave... and if so, who is paying?


I know that in sweden (I tried to type this out twice in response to elibee and it wouldn't stick) they have one of the longest parental leaves in the world.  The caveat is that nearly everyone works there after leave.  Only the "wealthy" can afford to be SAHP's.   Not having the choice sounds awful to me.

Julia... JulianneTh

Hoticedcoffee, I completly agree with you and understand what are you trying to say...which is ( so maybe now everbody will GET IT also)  that ( even if it's not fair towards the women)  companies do tend to hire men instead of women exactly due to maternity issues and such. I see people commenting on your post..didn't actualy understood your post.....she didn't debate whether women should be on maternity leaves or not, or if women are less valuable skill wise than men....she just showed you how a company owner or manager thinks these days and she's right. People,  do READ before you speak and inflame yourselves! In my country (I live in Europe) women get 2 years maternity leave with paid salary 80% in that time plus state help for 2 years. Always been like this and cuz of it you don't see many women in high payed jobs in impotant companies, except those without kids.

Julie Dearie



Go ahead and flame away as I am well aware that this is not a popular viewpoint but I feel compelled to say it anyway. What about making a choice? That's right. Either have children OR have a career.  Our society is crumbling. Dropout rates, teen pregnancy rates, drug addiction rates amongst our youth are reaching all-time highs. We are falling farther and farther down on the lists of educational achievements among industrialized nations. Numerous studies have documented that the younger generation shows less social skills, less empathy, and less creativity and imagination. And why is this? Could it be that, as a society, we have decided that insitutions such as daycare centers and school systems should be responsible for raising our offspring while their parents are pursuing their own selfish interests? Children don't simply need their parents for the first 6 weeks of their lives! Maternity leave is a ridiculous concept from it's inception. If you are a woman- MAKE A CHOICE! Either you want a career OR you want a family. Stop trying to 'do everything' for yourself while shortchanging everyone else- especially your children! Oh and before I'm thought to be some ignorant, uneducated, male-dominated throwback, I happen to have a Master's degree and had a very successful career which I happily chose to leave in order to have and raise my own children.



nonmember avatar TSMom

Wow, this comment board is full of many intelligent women, with varied opinions and constructive thinking on this very important topic. After reading the comments, it appears that many of you feel that taking a paid, longer maternity leave is best for the baby and mom, thus, for society in general. Which I tend to think as well. However, some interesting points stated here bring up the concern that it could hurt women's careers in the long run and impede many from climbing the corporate ladder because they may not be given opportunities based on the risk that they will cost a company money. Therefore, as someone else brought up, it would be interesting to look at the percentage of female executives in countries with long maternity leaves and compare them to the % of female executives in the United States. I think that figure alone would open our eyes to see if long maternity leaves are good, bad, or moot for a woman's career path.

Diane Sandbrand

@Leanne Carnegie, in Canada we do get paid leave, but we have paid into that leave. It's covered under our mandatory employment insurance and you have to accumulate a certain number of hours (600 hours in the last 52 weeks) to qualify. If you haven't accumulated those hours, then you aren't entitled to the leave.


We DO get paid, but only 55% of your average wage from the previous year up to a maximum of $44,200/yr. That results in a maximum payment of $468/week and it is taxed at our regular insane tax rate (meaning you definately WON'T be getting that amount!). That sounds like a lot, but if you have any sort of great paying job, you take a serious pay deduction. If you are lucky enough to work for a company that will top-up your pay, then you will make closer to your regular salary.


Diane Sandbrand

We pay dearly into a system that pays us back if we have a child. The government is aware that this parental leave actually decreases the burden on other programs, like childcare. You would be hard-pressed to find 3 month old babies in daycare in Canada and most daycares won`t even offer daycare to children under one as it requires significantly more staff.

When on the one year maternity leave, parents get to grow with their child, the mother recover from childbirth and by the end of that one year, it`s a LOT more work than at the beginning of the year. Most parents are reluctant to go back to work and of the people I know, they do go back but really would rather spend the time with their child. Sometimes the parent on leave will swap with their partner during the year, which is totally allowed, but most don`t. I`ve seen some great small businesses grow out of the parental leave, allowing one of the partners to work at home with their child, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Canadians enjoy the benefits of a one year maternity leave, but it doesn`t make it easier to leave your child after being with them for a year. In fact, I would argue it`s much harder as your child really knows who their parent(s) are and by a year is more relucant to be away from them.


purpl... purplepolkadots

Hoticedcoffee, my point was that the family/medical leave act does legally apply to everyone, regardless of gender.  If you hired a male employee, upon the birth/adoption of his new child, he is legally entitled to take this leave just as a woman would. 


And, BTW, not all women DEMAND more allowances in the workplace.  You do realize that giving birth in and of itself is something that requires recovery, right?  Or that a man can't breastfeed?  Women are biologically able to do certain things for a child that a man cannot.  Or maybe you'd rather live in a society without children and/or any women in the workplace?


I think you'd make a sad boss/hiring manager.  Your assumptions about people based on your own gender biases probably make you miss out on some quality hires.

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