Kristin Shapiro, a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, made the argument that her fellow conservatives shouldn’t leave the contours of any potential paid-leave policy up to Democratic politicians. “Conservatives have a big negative reaction to it because they think, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re not Sweden!’” she said, and then went on to add that “If Republicans don’t [shape the policy], then the only option for paid family leave out there will be policies that would turn us into Sweden.”
Of course, on the issue of paid parental leave, the United States won’t resemble Sweden anytime soon. There, parents get to divvy up 480 days of paid leave per child, most of which are provided at near-full pay. But given the increasing popularity of the idea of giving people financial support to leave work for several weeks—among liberals and, occasionally, conservatives—Shapiro does seem to have it right that paid leave is an issue that Republicans would be wise not to ignore.
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