Dear Governor Rell, The United States is one of five countries on the planet that does not provide paid maternity and paternity leave. In Iraq, a new mother will not have electricity 24 hours per day, but she will have 62 days of paid maternity leave. In Somalia, the poorest country in the world according to the Central Intelligence Agency, new mothers and fathers enjoy 90 days of paid leave. Yet in the United States, one of the wealthiest countries on the planet, men and women do not have job guaranteed, paid leave to care for a newborn child. In a nation full of talking heads who shout the phrase "family values" from the rooftops, we lag behind 173 nations when it comes to true family values. Why is paid maternity/paternity leave important It is important for the mother to be able to recover from delivery. Childbirth is an extremely taxing experience physically, mentally, and emotionally. It takes a great deal of time to recover from this type of surgery, especially if a child is delivered via Cesarean. Doctors recommend 6 weeks of recovery time for a vaginal birth, and 8 weeks for C-section. New mothers should not have to choose between physical recovery, and going back to work in order to pay their electric bill. New fathers should not have to choose between staying home to help their wives take care of the newborn, and returning to work so they can pay their grocery bills. Paid leave is also important because the first months of a childâ
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