Rather less pleasing, though, was Ms Sue Dunlevy’s piece in the same paper last Friday. The article’s headline was ‘Are children about love or economics?’, yet Ms Dunlevy reported on paid maternity leave without seeming to recognise that it is her and those of her ilk who fail to realize that if children are about love then there should be no need for such paid leave. Furthermore, she failed to explain how new mothers can be considered to be owed, in justice, pay for discharging their maternal duties. I would love to see someone explain how, in Ms Elizabeth Broderick’s words, paid maternity leave can be considered a ‘basic human right’. The closest Ms Dunlevy comes to such an explanation is in the following parts:
Unions NSW says women need at least six months off work so they can breastfeed their baby to World Health Organisation standards.
Agreed. But why should the taxpayer pay for this? Covering this time off is the husband’s duty.
And the NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People Gillian Calvert says a parent should be paid to stay at home with the child for the first two years or the baby’s brain won’t develop properly.
I agree that the mother should stay home with her child for (at least) the first two years. But there is a step missing in the logical sequence from ‘mothers should have time off’ to ‘taxpayers should pay mothers to take this time off’.
fathers as well as mothers need paid leave to make a contribution to their child’s upbringing.
Again, I agree that mothers should be with their children. That taxpayers should pay for this has not been demonstrated. As for fathers, they contribute to their children’s upbringing by working a reasonable number of hours per week.
[Families Minister Ms Jenny Macklin] sees it as a way of honouring children, of giving back to parents some time to do the things that really matter in life _ [sic] bond with their children.
Please Ms Macklin, explain to me why it is other taxpayers who should pay for this.
Economists might consider such practices economically sinful but every parent knows the rewards of building a strong relationship with a child takes longer than 14 weeks and is much more valuable to society than the tax a parent would be paying if he/she was at work.
Agreed. But the same step in the same logical sequence is still missing.
And at the risk of giving the impression that I have a one-track mind, I could not help but transpose into the context of abortion some of the statements in the report:
If we settle for a minimalist scheme we’ll be short selling our daughters and our granddaughters.
Killing 50 000 of them in utero each year does much worse than this.
[Families Minister Ms Jenny Macklin] sees it as a way of honouring children
An even better way of ‘honouring children’ would be to shut down the abortion industry.