Conservative Congresswoman Lauren Boebert once again became the subject of social media scorn after making a baffling argument against paid maternity leave by claiming she was so busy she ended up giving birth in the front seat of her truck.
Dutifully playing her role as a reactionary bomb-thrower, Ms Boebert’s comments were a reaction to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s decision to take two months of paternity leave in order to spend time with the child he and his husband, Chasten, recently adopted.
She criticised Mr Buttigieg in a YouTube video.
“Listen, I’m a mother of four,” she says in the video. “I delivered one of my children in the front seat of my truck. Because, as a mom of four, we got things to do. Ain’t nobody got time for two and a half months of maternity leave. We have a world to save here.”
It is unclear what Ms Boebert means when she refers to saving the world or why that would preclude someone from having a baby in a hospital.
After Ms Boebert finishes boasting about bringing a life into the world less than a foot away from her truck’s glove compartment, the family values conservative then pivots to make a less than subtle dig at Mr Buttigieg for being gay and for wanting to spend time with his infant.
She claims in the video that Mr Buttigieg took “maternity, paternity, whatever the heck you want to call it” leave so that he could “figure out how to chest feed”.
Naturally, Twitter exploded with condemnation and mockery of the congresswoman.
In a recent story about parental work leave in The New York Times, Mr Buttigieg defended his decision, arguing that there is value to a parent’s work, even if it is not in the direct service of a corporation or government.
“The big thing is having a newly personal appreciation for the fact that this is work... It may be time away from a professional role, but it’s very much time on,” he told the newspaper.
The fact that Americans even have to debate whether or not raising a child is a worthwhile enough endeavor to warrant paid time off is likely bizarre to the residents of the 120 countries that provide paid parental leave by law.
In the US, so long as you are working at a company with more than 50 employees, you are allowed to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Medical Leave Act of 1993. Of course, that is not much help if a parent cannot afford to take three months off work.
Ms Boebert even managed to wrap supply chain problems into her rant against parental leave, suggesting that if there were any shipping delays over the Christmas season that Americans would “know who to blame”. It is unclear where Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness, mercy, patience, and the rejection of material wealth fit into the ostensibly Christian Ms Boebert’s views on Christmas shipping delays and parents spending time with their newborns.
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