“I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician,” she wrote in the letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“I am, like many, an engaged citizen and a parent,” the royal added. “And because you and your congressional colleagues have a role in shaping family outcomes for generations to come, that’s why I’m writing to you at this deeply important time — as a mom — to advocate for paid leave.”
“Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has exposed long-existing fault lines in our communities,” Meghan wrote. “At an alarming rate, millions of women dropped out of the workforce, staying home with their kids as schools and daycares were closed, and looking after loved ones full-time. The working mom or parent is facing the conflict of being present or being paid. The sacrifice of either comes at a great cost.”
In the letter, Meghan spoke about welcoming and bringing home their second child, and openly acknowledged the sacrifices she and Harry did not have to make because of their positions of privilege.
“Like any parents, we were overjoyed. Like many parents, we were overwhelmed,” Meghan said. “Like fewer parents, we weren’t confronted with the harsh reality of either spending those first few critical months with our baby or going back to work.”
“No family should be faced with these decisions,” the duchess said, adding, “No family should have to choose between earning a living and having the freedom to take care of their child (or a loved one, or themselves, as we would see with a comprehensive paid leave plan).”
The royal acknowledged “how politically charged things can — and have — become,” but said that the issue “isn’t about Right or Left, it’s about right or wrong.”
“So, on behalf of my family, Archie and Lili and Harry, I thank you for considering this letter,” Meghan said, before signing off with: “And on behalf of all families, I ask you to ensure this consequential moment is not lost.”
After the letter was released, actor Debra Messing, “I Am a Voter” creator and co-founder Mandana Dayani, and many other organizations tweeted their support of Meghan and her push for paid leave:
— Mandana Dayani (@mandanadayani) October 20, 2021
Please read and share to let our leaders know how much this matters! For the sake of millions of Americans, we need lawmakers to make a principled choice today on paid leave. We stand with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, and all families in pursuit of #PaidLeaveForAllhttps://t.co/Z23Zv9P8BX
— Debra Messing✍🏻 (@DebraMessing) October 20, 2021
#MarshallPlanForMoms is proud to partner with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex on her letter in support of paid family leave in the U.S.
On behalf of moms, thank you to The Duchess for lending her voice to the fight for #PaidLeaveForAll.
Read the letter: https://t.co/Qf3pnh89nYpic.twitter.com/LjsgXXrBhc
— reshmasaujani (@reshmasaujani) October 20, 2021
So proud to have Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex join our efforts to secure #PaidLeaveforAll families in a moving letter to Congress today.
Guaranteed Paid Leave would be critical to families across the country. It can’t get left on the cutting room floor. https://t.co/TigZ2stWaq
— OxfamAmerica (@OxfamAmerica) October 20, 2021
Thank you, Duchess of Sussex, for these words: “When #paidleave is a right, we’re creating a foundation that helps address mental health outcomes, health care costs, & economic strength.” Read the letter https://t.co/R9jEf01slJ & urge Congress to take action #PaidLeaveforAll
— PL+US (Paid Leave for the US) (@PaidLeaveUS) October 20, 2021
"This isn’t about Right or Left, it’s about right or wrong."
Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, has penned a letter to @SenSchumer & @SpeakerPelosi to urge Congress to fight for #PaidLeaveForAll in the U.S.
Read the letter here: https://t.co/4zCC3avuWDpic.twitter.com/Mg4jP0gB1a
— UnitedStateofWomen (@USOWomen) October 20, 2021
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.