The Duchess of Sussex wrote to members of the US Congress and Senate earlier this month calling for paid leave for new parents. However it emerged on Thursday that US President Mr Biden has not included paid family leave in his scaled-back spending plan in an attempt to push it through Congress.
It was one of a series of promises missing from the spending plan.
Meghan, who is living in California with Prince Harry after quitting royal duties, penned a letter to House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Charles Schumer earlier in October.
The move prompted accusations from some that the Duchess was interfering in US politics.
Meghan said she was writing the letter “as a mom” and “on behalf of millions of American families”.
The former actress, who is mother to Archie and Lilibet, insisted paid leave should be “a national right”. The US is one of just eight countries without national paid maternity leave.
In her letter, Meghan described how she started working at the age of 13.
She wrote: “I grew up on the 4.99-dollar salad bar at Sizzler – it may have cost less back then (to be honest, I can’t remember) – but what I do remember was the feeling: I knew how hard my parents worked to afford this because even at five bucks, eating out was something special, and I felt lucky.
“And as a Girl Scout, when my troop would go to dinner for a big celebration, it was back to that same salad bar or The Old Spaghetti Factory because that’s what those families could afford to do too.
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She said: “In June, my husband and I welcomed our second child.
“Like any parents, we were overjoyed. Like many parents, we were overwhelmed.
“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.
“No family should be faced with these decisions. No family should have to choose between earning a living and having the freedom to take care of their child (or a loved one, or themselves, as we would see with a comprehensive paid leave plan).”
The former Suits star, who signed off as “Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex”, concluded the letter by writing: “If we’re going to create a new era of family-first policies, let’s make sure that includes a strong paid leave program for every American that’s guaranteed, accessible, and encouraged without stigma or penalty.
“I know how politically charged things can – and have – become. But this isn’t about right or left, it’s about right or wrong.
“This is about putting families above politics. And for a refreshing change, it’s something we all seem to agree on. At a point when everything feels so divisive, let this be a shared goal that unites us.
“So, on behalf of my family, Archie and Lili and Harry, I thank you for considering this letter, and on behalf of all families, I ask you to ensure this consequential moment is not lost.”
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