Last year, Meghan McCain, the television personality and conservative columnist, became one of those lucky few when she had her first child, a girl she named Liberty, in September.
McCain, daughter of the late Arizona senator John McCain and one of the hosts of the morning talk show The View, owned by the Walt Disney Co.’s ABC television network, took advantage of her employer’s three-month paid parental leave, giving her time to recoup following her emergency c-section and postnatal preeclampsia, she explained on the program on Jan. 4, her first day back to work.
For her, the necessity of that time for new mothers was a revelation, inspiring her to “do a lot of research,” as she said a few times, into why the same benefit isn’t available to all American women, who are only entitled to unpaid time off under federal law.
In fact, she decided to use the show’s platform—it reaches an average of 2.9 million women daily—to call for a fully paid maternity leave law.
“I was planning on coming back to the show for the election in six weeks after I gave birth, and I was physically unable to. I had to have my husband and my mother-in-law help me do everything from shower to eat. It was deeply humbling,” she said. That period opened her eyes to “what a privilege it is to have this kind of maternity leave