Again, it's an absolutely tragic situation for the mothers who have to make this arduous decision to either have their pregnancy go to full term or be eliminated, based on finances. It's never been presented to me that it was based on finances. It has me thinking.
I would ask for your perspective, being a stay-at-home mom. My wife stayed home. I was going to university at the time. We had four kids, and my wife stayed home throughout the whole process. She received no benefits for staying at home. It was a decision that we made. I was a teacher, so we didn't have much money, but we thought it was best for the kids. She wanted to stay home and be a mom. She's “back at work” now. I say that with quotes, because she has never stopped working the whole way through, I think since we were married. We've been married 21 years now, and I think she's never stopped; she's worked in different roles.
In terms of perspective, another thing that we have to weigh as government all the time is the costing out of programs. It's a perfect idea if we don't have to weigh out the cost to taxpayers. That's a cold perspective, but it's a caring perspective, to our understanding.
With the people presenting today, you're all taxpayers, and we want to have a balanced approach. We help out mothers who need the help, but we also know it's going to be an expensive program. How do you balance the two?
Anna, if you were designing the program in a perfect way, what would you have that balanced out as? I know you understand both. You're a taxpayer and a mother who sees the need for a maternity program. What would the program look like?