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Sunday News Update: July 13, 2014


BC Logo_SquareWelcome to Brain, Child’s Sunday night news update where we look at issues impacting women and children. Tonight we hear from Your (Wo)Man in Washington, Valerie Young of the National Association of Mothers’ Centers.

Frankly, after such a busy week on the motherhood-and-politics front, we could certainly use some down time at the beach or star gazing on a quiet night.  Sigh.  Not likely.  Here’s how it all played out:

Right before July 4th, the US Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Hobby Lobby case, relieving a for profit corporate employer from following certain provisions of the health reform law regarding contraception because of religious beliefs.

This past week, Democrats in both the House and Senate introduced a bill to counter that decision, called the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014.  The bill states:  “The purpose of this Act is to ensure that employers that provide health benefits to their employees cannot deny any specific health benefits, including contraception coverage, to any of their employees or the covered dependents of such employees entitled by Federal law to receive such coverage.”

Also in the bill dropping department, US Rep. Nita Lowey of New York introduced legislation to credit the Social Security accounts of family caregivers with a modest income for a limited number of years that they spend raising children, caring for aging parents, or ill or disabled family members, instead of paid employment.  You can listen to a 30 minute recording of a tele town hall Rep. Lowey held on Tuesday night to get the details.

Minnesota passed a law to prevent the shackling of women in prison when they give birth as reported in RH Reality Check.  Unbelievably, shackling during labor continues in 30 other states.  “Additionally, the shackling ban makes Minnesota the 20th state with such a ban on the books. But many states still allow the shackling of pregnant women, including during labor. The American Medical Association has called the practice of shackling women during childbirth “barbaric” and “medically hazardous.”‘  And still it occurs…

Not one but TWO articles this week on the “valuable, difficult and irreplaceable” work of  the “housewife,” one in Dame Magazine and another at, which notes that “it’s really difficult to have two working parents with full-time jobs, because home life requires a lot of necessary man-hours and a huge emotional investment, too.”

Valerie Young writes about news at the intersection of motherhood and public policy. Follow her on Facebook at Your (Wo)Man in Washington, and on Twitter @WomanInDC, and find a weekly blog post at

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