Several months after giving birth to her first child, Liberty Sage, conservative and noted daughter Meghan McCain returned to her job co-hosting The View on Monday and shared an epiphany she had during her time away: Other women should have access to the same kind of paid maternity leave to which she, Meghan McCain, had access.
McCain, 36, faced challenges with her delivery, she told her co-hosts. While she had initially intended to return to work after six weeks to help cover the election, an emergency C-section and postnatal preeclampsia prolonged her recovery process, and she ended up taking more maternity leave than she had originally planned.
“The whole time I was thinking what a privilege it is to have this kind of maternity leave,” McCain said. “And then, as I thought about it, the more angry I got that there were women in the rest of America that didn’t have the same kind of luxury I had working here at The View.”
She called the lack of mandatory paid maternity leave a “dark spot” in American society and said she was angry in particular with her fellow conservatives: “We are the party of family values, and everything in our ideology stems from the nucleus of the family,” she said. “We are leaving women in this country without the capacity and ability — unless you have an employer that allows you to — to take care of your child, to heal physically, which is something that needs to happen.”
She concluded by urging her View co-hosts to vocally push for the issue and to put pressure on lawmakers. “Ask them why the women of America don’t get the kind of maternity leave that Meghan McCain got,” McCain fumed.
A good question indeed.
It’s good to see a conservative figure advocate for paid maternity leave (though, it should be noted, not for paid parental leave in general; later in the episode, McCain turned up her nose at the idea of fathers requiring paid parental leave). But why were the struggles of early motherhood something she had to experience firsthand before she could imagine advocating for policies that would help others?
The U.S. government’s cruel lack of support for mothers hasn’t exactly been a secret. We’re one of the few countries in the world that don’t have a law requiring businesses to provide paid maternity leave, meaning that many mothers are either forced to return to work far sooner than is medically advisable or risk facing severe financial stress.
So, uh, welcome into the fold, I guess, Meghan. Better late than never. I suppose we’ll have to wait until she personally experiences the terrible effects of poverty, lack of health-care access, and inhuman immigration policies to see if her views on those issues will change as well.