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#5Actions of the Week: January 14, 2018

Happy New Year! 2017 was a tremendous year of *women power, mom power, parent power, and people power!* We called, emailed, and visited decision-makers on top issues affecting our families, including health care, immigration, taxes, more - literally hundreds of thousands of times. THANK YOU! It all made a difference. And due to you, we won on health care. Twice!

Now let's get 2018 off to a strong start, and renew our intentions to speak up - loud and clear - around issues affecting women, moms, parents and families. And we'll make it easy for you to #resist, #insist, and #persist in 2018 with our #5Actions of the week. As always, these actions are easy and critically important, from standing for DREAMers to protecting health care for kids.

Be sure to share these actions with friends and family too. Who doesn't appreciate the feeling of power and satisfaction that comes from speaking up, being heard, and having an impact on the issues you care about? Share the love!

Here we go! The #5Actions of this week! ->

Applause to New Jersey for Signing Bill to Prohibit Breastfeeding Discrimination

Great news from New Jersey this week: Firing or discriminating against women who breastfeed at work is now prohibited under the state legislation signed by Gov. Chris Christie on Monday!
 
No, I don’t live in New Jersey. But I think it is a good example of supporting a welcoming environment to working mothers. Now New Jersey employers would be in violation of the new law, which serves as an update to the state’s civil rights law, for firing or discriminating against a woman over breastfeeding. New Jersey businesses must now also provide break time and a suitable location for breastfeeding women to express milk in private.
 
New Jersey is joining 48 other states, along with Washington D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to have laws allowing women to breastfeed in public and private locations. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor announced rules that require employers to provide accommodations for breastfeeding.

A Momentous Day for Maryland

This afternoon, the Maryland State Senate followed the House of Delegates’ lead by voting to override Governor Hogan’s veto of HB1. After years of waiting and advocating for this bill, earned sick days will finally be a reality for workers in our state. This is a huge victory for Maryland’s working families and a momentous day for Maryland.
 
More than 700,000 Maryland workers have suffered without paid sick days for too long, forced to make the awful choice between taking time off work to recuperate – or to stay home with a sick child – and earning a paycheck. Thanks to the Healthy Working Families Act, hundreds of thousands of workers will now be able to earn sick leave, ensuring that they can take the time they need when they or a family member falls ill, without risking their job. This law will give financial security and peace of mind to workers and stability to Maryland businesses. It will be a boon for our families, our economy and our public health.
 

Medicaid Work Requirements Will Perpetuate Poverty and Harm Women

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that states will be able to apply for waivers allowing them to implement work requirements for Medicaid recipients. This misguided policy punishes the most vulnerable members of our society and has the potential to cause millions of people to lose their health coverage just when they need support the most. It will perpetuate poverty and inequality, jeopardize the health of families, disproportionately harm women, undermine our economy, and do little to help anyone find or keep a job.
 

Drop by the local offices of your members of Congress by Jan 19 to pass DREAM legislation NOW!

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We have an urgent matter for you! Every week, more than 850 DREAMers, (young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and were raised here), have been losing their legal status -- the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, (DACA) -- and with it their protections and their ability to work, drive and attend college.[1]

 

 

 

 

Why I Take Heart Health So Seriously

By: Alexandria Hill, MD

Increasingly, women with cardiac disease are getting pregnant.  We typically associate cardiac disease with people who have had a heart attack or open-heart surgery.  But, as a physician and a cardiac patient myself, I think about the people born with heart abnormalities or those with abnormal heart rhythms that cause interference with day-to-day life. Moreover, I know how difficult it can be to be taken seriously when the symptoms you may feel are vague or poorly defined.  Heart disease is a common killer, but when you’re walking down the street you can’t identify this plagued population.

As a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) physician, I feel strongly about the pregnant population being carefully screened for cardiac disease.  Women in pregnancy often will have a heart murmur, which can be benign. However, there are some murmurs that are concerning and warrant further workup.  It is important that providers listen to a pregnant woman’s concerns about any shortness of breath or unusual feelings in their chest, as many women who are pregnant have not seen a physician for many years prior to becoming pregnant.

Ripping children away from mothers is unAmerican!

Lives are being put in danger. Today, Monday January 8, 2018, President Trump’s administration, through the U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS), terminated the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of more than 200,000 Salvadorans. This puts children, moms, dads, families, and people directly in harm’s way. [1] TPS recipients will lose job permits, the ability to attend schools, driver’s licenses, and the protections they applied for and were given by law.  This doesn’t just impact TPS recipients: Many TPS recipients live in “mixed status” families and are parents of more than 192,000 U.S. citizen children.[2] [3] By terminating TPS, parents will be forced to decide whether to be separated from their children or bring them into countries that are still recovering or are dangerous.

This is outrageous!

The Most Burdened Generation: A Poem

My kids, and their generation, could've saved the world

My kids see race, color, and culture, but they know it has no bearing on a person's inherent worth

My kids see masculine and feminine, but they aren't hung up on enforcing those qualities according to someone's biology 

My kids see climate change already affecting their world, and they understand enough science to know that humans have a hand in it

My kids don't care how you came to live in this country, if you participate here in a positive way

My kids see religion, and they aren't bothered by it unless it oppresses and hurts people

My kids see inequality and injustice, and they aren't afraid to act out against it

My kids see that blind patriotism is a quick path to fascism

*

My kids watched as the older generations voted for power-hungry, greedy old men who thumped bibles while ransacking and rigging the economy for their own gain

Ending TPS for Salvadorans Is Unconscionable, Will Threaten Families and Disrupt Communities

Today, President Trump directed the Department of Homeland Security to heartlessly terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for some 200,000 Salvadorans living in the United States and is preparing to send families to dangerous situations. This is just the latest in a string of callous attacks on families by the Trump administration, and is yet another move that will threaten families and disrupt our communities and our economy.
 
This is un-American. The words at the base of our Statue of Liberty welcoming the ‘tempest-tossed’ to our country have in many ways defined our country.  Allowing people to apply for TPS if something catastrophic happens in their country of origin -- like war, famine, a natural disaster, or an epidemic -- is part of our heritage. However, this life saving protection is now being taken away, as is our standing in the world as leaders of hope, freedom, and prosperity.
  

Cold, Cruel, Calculated Sabotage, Yet Again

There seems to be no end to the Trump administration’s efforts to sabotage the health insurance market and take meaningful coverage away from people who need it most. The Association Health Plan rule the administration released this week would allow insurers to sell junk health plans that fail to provide essential protections to people with pre-existing conditions and to millions of moms and older women. If this rule takes effect, rampant discrimination will return to the health insurance marketplace as insurers charge outrageous prices for plans that fail to cover maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health care, and more. This is cold, cruel, calculated sabotage, yet again.
 
The Trump administration and Republican leaders in Congress have been relentless and utterly unprincipled in seeking to deny health coverage to millions of people. The moms of America will not have it. We oppose every action that will raise costs, take coverage away from those who need it most, damage our economy, harm families, and throw our health care system and our country into chaos – and that is exactly what this rule would do.
 

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