In recognition of National Prematurity Awareness Month, National Partnership president Debra Ness and Dr. Sam Ho, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare, give tips on how expectant mothers and their families can increase the likelihood of a safe and healthy pregnancy, delivery and early postnatal period.
“We saw in poll after poll, voters saying this was an issue they cared about,” said Vicki Shabo, vice president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. While many such policies have been supported by progressive candidates for decades, “the fact that it came up in the general election by the Republican candidate was totally unprecedented.”
National Partnership President Debra Ness discusses new data on pregnancy discrimination in the workplace and why we need Congress to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
In the U.S., more than one in five pregnant women give birth to their first baby by C-section, according to Childbirth Connection, a program of the National Partnership for Women & Families.
“I do think it set a tone for the administration, and maybe even more than a tone, it showed us what the administration’s priorities would be,” said Sarah Fleisch Fink, director of workplace policy and senior counsel at the National Partnership for Women & Families, which advocates for pay equity for women.
“Patients and families will benefit immensely from the continuation of the Partnership for Patients’ important work, which was begun in the CMS Innovation Center,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families.
Mary Louise Kelly speaks to Vicki Shabo, Vice President of the National Partnership for Women and Families on the wage gap for women who are Latina.
"The conversation has really shifted," says Vicki Shabo, vice president at the National Partnership for Women and Families. She has seen it change over the past half-dozen years, as several states and a string of cities have passed their own paid parental or family leave policies.
“This is appalling,” said Sarah Fleisch Fink, director of workplace policy and senior counsel at the organization. “Women in the fast food industry struggle to pay their rent, feed their kids, [and] buy warm clothes in the winter. We must do more to protect them from sexual harassment and ensure their employers take appropriate action when it does occur.”
“When a woman who was denied abortion coverage cannot keep her job because her employer refuses to make reasonable accommodations for her pregnancy–when she has no paid sick days for prenatal appointments or well-baby care–no paid family and medical leave to use after giving birth–the deck is truly stacked against her,” Debra L. Ness, president of National Partnership for Women & Families, said in a statement released with the analysis.
The success of those efforts demonstrated "a significant change in our culture of healthcare," said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, a not-for-profit that counts promoting quality healthcare as part of its work, during a call with reporters.
"Winning better paid family and medical leave will have a direct impact on your life and your ability to provide for yourself and your family," says Vicki Shabo, vice president at the National Partnership for Women & Families, a policy organization that has played an instrumental role in developing federal family leave policy.
While D.C. has historically had one of the lowest pay wage gaps in the nation, it remains stark: women make 90 cents to the dollar for men, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.
The National Partnership for Women and Families says that the gender pay gap in Connecticut is 83 cents, while in Mississippi, it’s 77 cents.
Recent years have seen some legal advances, with more than two dozen cities, five states and the District of Columbia passing sick leave laws, but, “what we need to do is pass the Healthy Family Act, that’s the bottom line,” says Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Those comments about women's wages are true — according to a study done by the National Partnership for Women and Families, white women make 79 cents on a white man's dollar. And according to the same study, black women make 60 cents on a white man's dollar meanwhile hispanic women only make 55 cents.
As the changing needs of modern families continue to influence political discourse, these state-level victories are re-shaping national sentiment, says Vicki Shabo, vice president of the Partnership. “This is a critical juncture,” she says. “The buzz around these policies is at an all-time high, and it’s creating opportunities for regular people to have their voices heard.”
"Forced arbitration allows employers to sweep even the most egregious harassment under the rug, sometimes for decades, and evade laws designed to protect women from sexual harassment in the workplace," writes Judith Lichtman, senior advisor at the National Partnership for Women & Families.
“The national imperative to transform our healthcare system into one that delivers better care and better outcomes at lower cost cannot possibly succeed without the active engagement of patients and family caregivers,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, which leads the Consumer Partnership for eHealth.
Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, writes about the progress that has been made during Barack Obama's presidency to obtain equal opportunity for women in the workplace. "In recent years, the Obama administration has used Labor Days - and many of the days in between - to advance the fair and family friendly workplace policies the country needs," she writes.
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