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Some women in Armed Forces miss out on maternity leave. Kansas lawmaker's bill would end that

Bryan Lowry, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

Capt. Lauren Orr, a member of the Kansas Army National Guard, said that guardswomen who take time off after having birth risk that they won't have enough credits at the end of the year to make that year count toward their term of service.

Orr, 28, is six years into an eight-year commitment to the guard and expecting her second child in July. Both she and her husband were serving in the guard two years ago when they had their son and Orr took time off to care for him.

"But we were not paid for that. We just sort of took the hit on that and moved forward with it," said Orr, who lives in Gardner and serves in Topeka.

Orr praised Moran's effort to ensure reservists and guardswomen have the same maternity benefits as active duty soldiers.

"I think it would be a really great step forward," she said. "The focus right now in the National Guard is retention ... and this would be one step in the right direction, making it possible for women who serve to continue serving. I think it's a basic step toward fairness because this is offered toward active duty personnel."

 

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