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About 12 percent of women who go on maternity leave don't come back. (Photo: iStock)

Whether or not Judge Neil Gorsuch actually said women manipulate their employers for maternity leave, the flap reflects a belief many Americans share: Most people think abuse of paid family and medical leave is common. 

Earlier this week, a former student said Gorsuch, the Supreme Court nominee now facing confirmation hearings in the Senate, had told her law-school class that new moms manipulate their employers for maternity benefits, collecting pay checks for time away from work and then quitting. Another student disputed that account. At his hearing, Gorsuch denied that he ever said as much.

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