Lawmakers Look to Extend Maternity Leave for Military Moms

Monday, 12 May 2014 10:59 PM

By Jason Devaney

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A proposed bill would increase maternity leave for military moms from six weeks to 12.

Introduced by Reps. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, and Republican Kristi Noem of South Dakota, the Military Opportunities for Mothers (MOM) Act would help military families when a child is born, The Hill reports.

"Mothers in the military inevitably face separation from their children when they are deployed and serving our nation around the globe," Duckworth said in The Hill story.

"Extending maternity leave for these women is the least we can do for those who sacrifice so much for our country."

Added Noem: "For working moms, going back to work after having a child is one of the most difficult days. But when you put on fatigues instead of a business suit and return to a military base halfway around the world instead of an office around the corner, that day can be even more difficult."

Duckworth served in the Iraq War as a Blackhawk pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard. Her helicopter was hit by an RPG on Nov. 12, 2004, which resulted in her losing nearly all of her right leg and her left leg below the knee. Mobility in her right arm was also affected.

Duckworth served brief stints as the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and the Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs before getting elected to Congress in 2012.

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