Today, in an open letter to Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and members of the U.S. Congress, Meghan Markle is advocating for a comprehensive paid leave program. At the beginning of the memo, she notes that she is not a politician, and not an elected official, but simply "an engaged citizen and a parent."
"I’m writing to you on behalf of millions of American families who are using their voices to say that comprehensive paid leave should not be a place to compromise or negotiate. In fact, most nations already have paid leave policies in place," she writes, sharing that the United States currently "does not federally guarantee any person a single day of paid leave. And fewer than one in four workers has dedicated paid family leave through their employer."
In the letter, which is available to read in full at paidleaveforall.org, Meghan also opens up about her experience following the birth of her daughter Lili, describing herself and Prince Harry as both "overjoyed" and "overwhelmed" in the wake of her arrival.
"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. 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," she writes.
"No family should be faced with these decisions. 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)."
Meghan concludes the letter calling attention to the polarized nature of American politics in 2021, and noting that this could be an opportunity for both parties to work together.
"I know how politically charged things can—and have—become. But this isn’t about Right or Left, it’s about right or wrong. This is about putting families above politics. And for a refreshing change, it’s something we all seem to agree on. At a point when everything feels so divisive, let this be a shared goal that unites us," she writes.
"So, 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."
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