Meghan Markle pens open letter to Congress calling for paid family leave

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is petitioning Congress to establish a plan for paid family leave for U.S. parents.

>> Read more trending news

“I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician. I am, like many, an engaged citizen and a parent,” Meghan wrote in an open letter published on the website Paid Leave For All.

“And because you and your congressional colleagues have a role in shaping family outcomes for generations to come, that’s why I’m writing to you at this deeply important time — as a mom — to advocate for paid leave.”

The duchess continued, “Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has exposed long-existing fault lines in our communities. At an alarming rate, millions of women dropped out of the workforce, staying home with their kids as schools and daycares were closed, and looking after loved ones full-time. The working mom or parent is facing the conflict of being present or being paid. The sacrifice of either comes at a great cost.”

Markle and her husband Prince Harry had their second child, daughter Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, this past June. Their first child, a son named Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, was born in 2019.

Markle said in her letter that she and her family do not have the same challenges as other families do when it comes to raising a family.

“Like any parents, we were overjoyed. Like many parents, we were overwhelmed,” Markle wrote, recalling the moment she brought home her newborn daughter. “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.”