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Karen Showalter's picture

Happy Friday! We're back with our handy list of top actions from the past week, ready for you to review, sign and share. This week we're focusing on real solutions to paid family and medical leave, and speaking out about maternal health, as well as breastfeeding. We're also eager to hear your experiences with the school to prison pipeline and/or caesarean section. As always, your voice — and your stories — make a HUGE difference. Thank you for all you do!

Here's the top #5Actions list of the week ->  

1. Tell the U.S. Senate: Support the FAMILY Act, Not Fake Solutions!

BACKGROUND: U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, and Joni Ernst are working on a proposal to raid Social Security to give income to parents of a new child. This is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. It quite simply doesn’t work. While we appreciate that the need for paid leave has become a bipartisan issue since the last election, the truth is that the Rubio proposal is dangerously flawed for two big reasons: It asks new parents to jeopardize their future retirement security for parental leave today AND the proposal neglects the majority of people who take leave, whether that’s for family caregiving or personal medical needs. There is a solution — a good one! — to the crisis, working families face due to the lack of paid leave. The Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act (FAMILY Act) is a comprehensive paid leave plan that leaves no one behind and is modeled after successful and proven programs in California, New Jersey, and more. → Tell your U.S. Senator: We don’t need fake solutions, we need comprehensive paid family and medical leave. It’s time to support the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act)!

2. ACT NOW: Tell formula companies to BACK OFF!

BACKGROUND: The Trump Administration attempted to weaken a resolution at the World Health Assembly that was meant to “protect, promote and support breastfeeding.” Not only did they seek to water down the language, but they threatened (yes, threatened!) Ecuador, the proposing country, with sanctions and withdrawal of military aid. The Trump Administration resorted to strong-armed tactics in opposition to breastfeeding in order to side with the multi-billion-dollar infant formula industry over the world’s moms and babies. You read that right: Corporate interests and influence were prioritized over public health recommendations that are universally supported by doctors. Thankfully, the Administration’s shameful attempts were unsuccessful -- thanks to an intervention by Russia (!!!) -- but this is not OK! Join us to speak out! 


3. Share Your Story and Help Us Dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline

BACKGROUND: Every child has the right to quality education. But each year thousands of students are suspended or expelled, including hundreds of preschoolers each day. Across the U.S. children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This disturbing trend, known as the school to prison pipeline, is perpetuated through policies and practices at the school, district, state, and federal levels. There are also horrific disparities. Black, brown, disabled, LGBTQ, and indigenous students consistently experience push out at higher rates. More than one out of four boys of color with disabilities and nearly one in five girls of color with disabilities receives an out of school suspension. The vast majority of these suspensions are NOT for violent behavior. These statistics are unacceptable. We can and must do better to ensure that ALL kids can thrive. This is why we need YOUR story. 

4. Tell Congress to Support Pregnant Women and Healthy Births!

BACKGROUND: Important legislation is currently moving through the U.S. Congress which could help moms and decrease the number of deaths and severe complications from childbirth — the Maternal Health Accountability Act and the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act (S. 1112 and H.R. 1318). Deaths related to childbirth and pregnancy are rising in the United States, and are especially high among Black women. By reviewing the cause of death for each individual case of maternal mortality and providing recommendations for states to address maternal deaths, this legislation will help enable health systems to address the factors leading to the disproportionate deaths of Black mothers and put recommendations in place to begin addressing racial disparities that have been present and unchanged for decades. Sign on now to tell your members of Congress to support the Maternal Health Accountability Act in the U.S. Senate and the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act in the U.S. House (S. 1112 and H.R. 1318)!

5. Share Your Cesarean Section Experience!

BACKGROUND: Did you know pregnant American women and people give birth via caesarean section at more than double the rate the World Health Organization recommends? That is why we are asking women and people to take part in a new digital campaign so we can reduce the stigma that comes with having a c-section and give voice to the many people around the country who continue to be vulnerable in hospitals around the country. Tell us about you or your loved ones experience with cesarean sections during your birthing experience. How have you and your loved ones been impacted?


Thank you for all you do, and #KeepMarching! 

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