Politics

An often overlooked pro-life Trump policy: Paid maternity leave

While campaigning in September as the then-GOP nominee, Donald Trump, now the President-elect, laid out his plan for maternity leave and childcare in order to better assist working mothers. His plan was influenced by his daughter, Ivanka Trump, who is the mother of three young children. While speaking at the Republican National Convention in July, Ivanka had also discussed such plans while introducing her father.

“We need working mothers to be fairly compensated for their work, and to have access to affordable, quality child care for their kids,” Trump said in speaking about the plan.

Under Trump’s plan, mothers who don’t already have leave from their employers would be granted six weeks maternity leave. Cities and even state like New York have begun to pass such legislation at the local level. There is no federal law, however, and the United States is the only developed nation that does not guarantee cash benefits for new parents, according to the United Nations.

The plan would also allow for parents (couples earning less than $500,000 and individuals earning less than $250,000) to deduct child care expenses from their income taxes, capped at the “average cost of care” in their state. In some states, child care costs stunningly exceed the cost of rent and college.

Trump’s daughter Ivanka acknowledged the opportunities she had when it came to her career and ability to raise three children, and said she was “grateful,” though she knew not all women had such opportunities. “This must change. As a society we need to create policies that champion all parents, enabling the American family to thrive,” she said.

The Washington Post calls Trump’s plan “a striking departure from GOP orthodoxy.” As I stressed in an op-ed for Live Action News stressed in April, advocating for paid family leave policies is consistent with a pro-life ethic. Despite the Post’s claim about the GOP, Trump’s plan not only had the backing and influence from his daughter, but from pro-life and pro-women Republican women in Congress, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and as Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), who is currently the highest ranking Republican woman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Trump has made pro-life promises before, including his intent to nominate pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a pro-life stalwart. He has also stated that he plans on making the Hyde Amendment, which is a budget rider passed each year to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions, a permanent law.

While maternity leave may not seem as if it directly has to do with abortion, supporting a family after the birth of a child is certainly a pro-life ideal.

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