In an interview with NBC’s Dateline filmed in October 2004, Donald Trump shared his thoughts on motherhood, particularly pregnancy.
“[Pregnancy] is a wonderful thing for the woman, it’s a wonderful thing for the husband, it’s certainly an inconvenience for a business. And whether people want to say that or not, the fact is it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business.”
Interestingly enough, as the story of erstwhile Trump Golf Properties Executive Vice President Carolyn Kepcher’s pregnancy was told in parallel, specifically her decision – with which she admitted she was quite comfortable – to take three weeks off after giving birth and then came back part time, Trump denied that it was because she felt pressured, adding, “She loves her job.” When the notion of her being concerned that she would be replaced was discussed, Trump remarked:
“No… although it’s an interesting premise. Maybe she should feel that way a little bit, but the fact is that would not have happened.”
However, if Donald Trump is so sure that “that would not have happened,” why would he even so much as utter the words I have put in boldface?
Moreover, Donald Trump doesn’t take into account that parents with a new baby spend a monthly average of about $200 a month for baby clothes, diapers, baby food and formula. This cost does not include the cost of more expensive items, such as cribs, baby monitors, and medical expenses. Being that the United States is one of the only two countries in the world that doesn’t provide paid family leave (the other being Papua New Guinea), many new parents struggle with the dilemma of struggling with constrained finances versus returning to work too soon.
In addition to lessening the hardship for families with a new addition, providing paid maternity leave can be beneficial to businesses. For example, when search engine enterprise Google increased paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 18 weeks, they were able to retain 50% more new mothers who would have left the company otherwise. Moreover, when California mandated a paid-family-leave policy that enables most working Californians to receive 55% of their usual salary up to $1,104 per pay period for a maximum of six weeks, 90% of employers held to this policy reported that turnover was reduced while profitability and morale increased. In that case, perhaps it is the better idea to treat new mothers in the workforce as human beings rather than as expendable widgets.
Suffice it to say, Donald Trump’s opinion that “pregnancy is an inconvenience for employers” is patently wrongheaded, just like his vision of walling Mexico off from the United States and his plan to register Muslims in a national database.
Watch: Donald Trump declares pregnancy an “inconvenience” to businesses.
Featured image credit: Donald Trump (Screenshot via NBC News).