A national paid family leave plan is long overdue in America, and a fake PSA brilliantly skewers just how ridiculous our current system is. The ad introduces Lauren, a pregnant paralegal in Denver whose company does not provide her any leave and who can’t afford to take time off herself to have a baby. So instead, Lauren decides to be pregnant for five years.
Created by The National Partnership for Women & Families to help support a national paid family leave law, it does a fantastic job of getting its message across loud and clear. The video shows Lauren going through her day with a stability ball-sized belly, tossing back Tums, and experiencing a heightened array of symptoms of her, um, extended pregnancy. The video also explains that her husband was forced to use all of his vacation time taking care of his sick mother (since America doesn’t provide caregivers with proper leave) so Lauren has been forced to save up vacation days until she is finally ready to be a mom.
The absurd video serves to highlight the real absurdity: America’s shameful lack of paid family leave. Many families have to face dilemmas similar to this because of America being one of the only developed countries that does not provide paid leave for new parents. The ad closes by sadly noting 86 percent of Americans don’t have jobs that offer any form of paid family leave.
Paid family leave is a rare issue that has support from both political parties, and yet we still are stuck in a terribly outdated system. It’s time for America to catch up with the rest of the world and finally give parents the time they need to bond with their children and settle into their new roles.