‘Five Years Pregnant’ PSA Shines a Light on the Lack of Paid Family Leave in the U.S.
The National Partnership for Woman and Families released a satirical new public service announcement that brings attention to the lack of paid family leave for new parents in the United States.
The clip, narrated by actress Sofia Bush, follows the story of Lauren, a pregnant paralegal working at a law firm in Denver, Colorado. Since both Lauren and her husband do not have guaranteed paid family leave — nor can they afford to take time off from work — Lauren is forced to remain pregnant as she accumulates vacation days. The amount of time that it takes her? Five years. While the visuals of an absurdly pregnant Lauren are comical, the message behind the commercial is quite serious. According to the Pew Research Center, of 41 developed nations, the United States is the only country not to guarantee paid family leave. This means that new mothers and fathers often struggle with balancing recovery and acclimation to parenthood with the financial obligation to return to work or risk losing their income. The video’s description notes the issue behind it, saying, “It’s absurd that most U.S. workers – 86 percent – don’t have paid family leave through their employers. And only some are lucky enough to live in the four states that have paid family and medical leave laws. But we can change this.”
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