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New Mexico (The Gaslamp Post) – The ACLU is hoping to get a measure passed in the state of New Mexico, which would give teen moms up to 14 days maternity leave after giving birth. According to KRQE-TV, the idea is intended to offset the unfair burdens young teen mothers face when trying to complete their high school education.
New Mexico reportedly has the second highest rate of teen pregnancy as well as one of the highest rates of high school dropouts in the nation, and the state has already implemented special schools which can accommodate these young, at-risk girls. Albuquerque already offers special schools with features aimed at assisting young teen moms.
According to the ACLU however, more needs to be done in order to make sure that teen parents can have not only the necessary time off for doctor’s appointments, but for that essential bonding time with their babies. At present, those things are only compromised when having to deal with school work at the same time.
“Pregnant and parenting students have more need to go to the doctor more than normal students,” said New Mexico ACLU staff attorney Alexandra Smith. “10 days after somebody gives birth to their child where they can be home to bond with their child and recover from the birth.”
During the next session of the state legislature, the ALCU is reportedly intending to have a law passed which would allow teen parents up to 14 days of absence per semester. The students would still have to make up any missed course work and tests, but it would take the pressure of the teen parents, and allow for them to graduate and become responsible adults.