Journal of Law and Social Challenges
Mexico, the United States, and Spain approach maternity rights and benefits from differing perspectives within diverse legal frameworks. Maternity and pregnancy deserve legal protection in the workplace by virtue of their vital role to society. Women worldwide share a concern for maternity rights and benefits, but countries approach legal rights related to motherhood and pregnancy from differing perspectives.
The laws in Mexico and Spain regarding maternity share many similarities, including protecting not only the mother and fetus, but also the infant and father. In contrast, the laws in the United States solely protect the mother and unborn fetus. The laws in the United States dealing with maternity tend to be more general than their Mexican and Spanish counterparts. The key to this difference lies in the foundation and rationale on which each legal regime is based. While Mexican and Spanish maternity rights are grounded in the unique circumstances of childbearing, the laws of the United States focus on establishing equality among workers. In seeking to address the needs of American families, the United States can learn much from Mexico's approach to maternity rights.
Roberto Rosas, Maternity Rights in Mexico: With References to the Spanish and American Codes, 6 J. L. & Soc. Challenges 151 (2004).