'The View' co-host Abby Huntsman calls U.S. maternity leave policy 'abysmal'

Todd Garrin

If you think Abby Huntsman is only about politics, think again.

Huntsman joined The View in 2018 to round out the panel as the second conservative voice next to co-host and friend Meghan McCain.

“I can’t think of a time where it’s been this controversial,” Huntsman tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “They always say ‘don’t talk religion, don’t talk politics’ but we do all of that in front of the American people.”

As the newest member of the long-running show, which just celebrated its 5,000th episode, Huntsman had to hit the ground running, but she didn’t let that get in the way of showing viewers who she is and what she values.

“I just want to be totally authentic me,” she says. “If people don’t like that then that’s fine. There will be someone that probably agrees with me on something. As long as I’m being true to who I am then I go home happy everyday.”

The co-host and her husband, Jeffrey Livingston, welcomed twins Ruby and William in June of 2019. Huntsman and Livingston also have a daughter, Isabel—making them the parents of three children under the age of 2, something Huntsman admits isn’t always easy balancing with her job on The View.

“Being a working mom, my heart’s in a million places all the time,” she shares. “I’ll look back at last year as being one of the hardest and most rewarding of my life.”

Huntsman spoke out in defense of fellow new mom Meghan Markle after critics slammed the duchess for seeming to complain about the difficulties of motherhood.

“That really hit home to me. She brought up the most important question of all that moms never get: ‘are you okay?’” she says.

She adds, “When the door closes at night, she’s a human being, she’s a real person, she has feelings...the anxieties of being a mom, the anxieties of worrying about your child every day and feeling responsible for something other than yourself—that is real across the board. That’s real for every single mom out there, for every single dad out there.”

Huntsman began her maternity leave from The View in May and returned at the start of the new season in September.

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows new parents to take up to 12 unpaid weeks off from work without worrying that their job won’t be there when they return, but Huntsman feels American mothers deserve better.

“I think our maternity leave in the U.S. is abysmal,” she says. “Of all the things that we try to do to make people’s lives better, what is more important than caring for moms that bring children into this world? If there’s one issue that I would fight for in the next few years I think that’s at the top of my list.”

Despite being known for her views on politics, Huntsman says she hopes people know that there’s more to her than that.

“I hope people can see me for who I am beyond politics, too, because we’re all human beings, and the longer they watch the show and they get to know me and my family and the things that I’m passionate about, the more they realize that I’m a lot more similar to them than they think.”

Watch Abby Huntsman and Meghan McCain discuss the 5000th episode of “The View:”

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