Like many moms, I found myself deeply and personally invested in the recent presidential election. As a new mom I know I need to do my part to ensure a safe and better world for my son. At MCC we are conscious of the many ways that pregnant women, infants and families could be impacted by the outcome of this election.
It has been difficult to come to terms with what the new administration will mean for many of the policies MCC has championed over the years, especially the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The Affordable Care Act has extended coverage to many women and children who were previously uninsured. Medicaid expansion has helped eligible women keep their insurance beyond the postpartum period and supported access to reproductive health care. These changes were groundbreaking. Prior to the implementation of ACA, pregnancy was considered a pre-existing condition, which means health insurance companies could deny a woman coverage because she was pregnant. ACA also amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to accommodate nursing mothers in the workplace. These are the sorts of gains for women and children MCC will always work to protect.
Despite the uncertainty and troubling developments, there are bright spots. One thing we know to be true is that babies are bi-partisan, so it is up to MCC and other like-minded individuals and organizations to educate legislators on the policies which will best serve babies and of course their families! Next, this election has garnered national attention for issues like paid maternity leave and policies, which will help to lessen the burden of childcare costs for families. Let’s not allow our elected officials to forget these campaign promises. Finally, 2017 will be an extraordinary opportunity for individuals to get involved. Now more than ever is the time for those invested in improving the well-being of all mothers and children to take action- call your legislators, volunteer your time and donate to organizations committed to ensuring a safe and better world for all children.