These states banning abortion don’t offer paid family leave

More than two dozen states that have restricted or banned access to abortion or are expected to do so do not guarantee paid family leave, social media posts have claimed.

After the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade, who granted abortion rights at the federal level, some people have debated the impact the decision might have on people in the workplace.

Reshma Saujani, activist and founder of Girls Who Code, claimed in a viral tweet that about two dozen states that want to ban or restrict access to abortion do not offer paid family leave. This claim was shared by other people on social mediato.

VERIFY reader Katy also shared a graphic with the team on Instagram asking if it’s true that states that ban abortion, and those that are likely to ban abortion, do not guarantee paid family leave.


Do states that restrict or ban abortion guarantee paid family vacations for all residents?



That's wrong.

No, none of the states that restrict or prohibit abortion guarantee paid family vacations to all residents.


Under the federal Family Leave Act (FMLA), eligible workers can take 12 weeks of work-related leave for “certain family and medical reasons,” including the birth of a child. But the law does not require this leave to be paid.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), FMLA allows states “to establish standards that are broader than federal law, and many states have chosen to do so.”

Both the Bipartisan Policy Center and the National Partnership for Women and Families say 11 US states and Washington, DC have enacted their own paid family leave programs.

The programs are currently active in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, Connecticut and the District of Columbia. Programs in Oregon, Colorado, Maryland and Delaware have been enacted into law but are not yet effective.

These government programs pay a person between 60% and 90% of their average weekly wage for up to 12 weeks. According to the NCSL, many state programs are funded by employee payroll taxes, and some others are also partially funded by employer payroll taxes.

All states that have instituted paid family leave programs are also among those that have specifically protected access to abortion for up to at least 24 weeks.

Since Roe v. Wade was lifted, 25 states have enacted or are expected to enact abortion bans or restrictions. VERIFY confirmed that none of these states offer paid family vacation programs for all people who work in the state.

Here is how state abortion laws currently stand:

RELATED: VERIFY Fact Sheet: Where Abortion Is Legal and Where It’s Not

Ten of the states with abortion bans or restrictions only offer paid family leave to people who work for the state government. They are Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Idaho, Georgia, North Carolina, Kansas, South Dakota, Arkansas and Kentucky. In Arkansas, for example, state employees can take up to four weeks of paid maternity leave.

The remaining 25 states with bans or restrictions do not offer any paid family leave, even for state government employees. For example, North Dakota has passed legislation that specifically prohibits cities and counties from enacting local laws on paid family leave, the Bipartisan Policy Center says.

VERIFY digital journalist Emery Winter contributed to this report.

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