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States that ban, restrict abortion do not guarantee paid family leave for all residents

More than two dozen states that have restricted or banned abortion access, or are expected to do so, don’t guarantee paid family leave, as social media posts claim.

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which federally granted the right to abortion, some people have discussed effects the decision could have on people in the workplace. 

Reshma Saujani, an activist and the founder of Girls Who Code, claimed in a viral tweet that about two dozen states set to ban or restrict access to abortion do not offer paid family leave. This claim has been shared by other people on social media, too.  

VERIFY reader Katy also shared a graphic with the team on Instagram, asking whether it’s true that states banning and those that are likely to ban abortions do not guarantee paid family leave. 

Credit: Courtesy
Viral social media graphic claiming to show states that do and do not provide paid family leave for all residents

THE QUESTION

Do states restricting or banning abortion not guarantee paid family leave for all residents?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

   

This is true.

The social media claims are true. States with restrictions or bans on abortion, or those that are expected to enact them, do not guarantee paid leave for all residents. 

The only states that guarantee paid family leave for all residents also protect the right to abortion. 

WHAT WE FOUND

Under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees can take 12 weeks of job-protected leave for “specified family and medical reasons,” including the birth of a child. But the law doesn’t require that leave to be paid. 

FMLA does allow states to “set standards that are more expansive than federal law and many states have chosen to do so,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Both the Bipartisan Policy Center and National Partnership for Women and Families say 11 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., have enacted their own paid family leave programs. 

The programs are currently active in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia. Programs in Oregon, Colorado, Maryland and Delaware have been passed into law, but have not yet gone into effect. 

These state programs will pay a person anywhere from 60 to 90% of their average weekly wage for up to 12 weeks. According to the NCSL, many state programs are funded through employee-paid payroll taxes and some others are also partially funded through payroll taxes paid by employers. 

All of the states that have enacted paid family leave programs are also among those that have explicitly protected access to abortion up to at least 24 weeks.  

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, two dozen states have enacted, or are expected to enact, pre-viability bans or restrictions on abortion. VERIFY confirmed that none of those states offer paid family leave programs for all people who work in the state.  

Here’s where state abortion laws stand right now:

Credit: VERIFY
Laws currently blocked by court orders are not considered "active."

RELATED: VERIFY Fact Sheet: Where abortion is legal, and where it is not

Eight of the states with abortion bans or restrictions do offer paid family leave only to people who work for the state government. They are Missouri, Tennessee, Idaho, Georgia, Kansas, South Dakota, Arkansas, and Kentucky. In Arkansas, for example, state workers can take up to four weeks of paid maternity leave. Michigan, which is listed in the viral graphic, has existing abortion ban laws on the books but those laws are not currently being enforced. Michigan also offers paid family leave only to state employees. 

The rest of the states with bans or restrictions don't offer any form of paid family leave, even for state government employees. For example, North Dakota has passed legislation explicitly banning cities and counties from enacting local paid family leave legislation, the Bipartisan Policy Center says. 

VERIFY digital journalist Emery Winter contributed to this report.

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

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