I'm asking Americans (and US residents) to act on these two issues today. One is for PPD legislation, and one is to correct a misconception about Fair Pay for women. I did both right before I posted them.
1) From Susan Dowd Stone, President of Postpartum Support International:
We Must Speak Out in Full Support of Postpartum Depression (PPD) Legislation NOW.
You may have heard the complaints on the internet lately; asking readers to block passage of legislation to help new mothers and their families cope with postpartum depression. The House and Senate both have legislation - H.R. 20 and S. 1375 - that some mistakenly believe is a conspiracy to push new mothers to take medication.
Tell that to the more than 800,000 women who will develop a diagnosable postpartum mood disorder this year! This does not include the 7.5% of women who will develop major depression during pregnancy.
How disappointing! Those who are speaking out against the Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act obviously know little to nothing about this legislation. Some are even saying that Melanie Blocker-Stokes, who took her own life after suffering this illness, was simply just sad.
This could not be farther from the truth! Ask her mother, Carol Blocker, who has dedicated her life to the passage of this protective legislation named in honor of her daughter.
This legislation does NOT recommend drugs, require drugs, or endorse drugs. What it does is:
- Encourage the Department of Health and Human Services to expand the research into the causes of postpartum conditions and find treatments.
- Establish a national public awareness campaign to increase awareness and knowledge of PPD and psychosis.
- Make grants available for programs that develop and offer essential services to women with PPD.
Even if you have already done so, please take the time to let your representatives in Washington know that you support this vital legislation . Help counter the misinformation they are currently receiving!
One Person Can Make a Difference.
2) John McCain's huge gaffe about the disparity in pay, from MomsRising.org:
We woke up this morning to an article which made us think the calendar had been switched back 50 years while we were sleeping. Yesterday, the Senate failed to pass the Fair Pay Act. What was almost worse than that defeat were the out-of-touch, misinformed -- and downright insulting -- statements about women.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who didn't even come to vote, said that instead of legislation allowing them to demand equal pay, women simply need "education and training."1 Not only is his information wrong -- women are currently paid less for the same work, even though they have the same education and training -- he's also sending a message to our nation, to our sons and daughters, that this pay gap is okay, and it's women's fault for being paid less. Not so!
We have the perfect way to show Senator McCain just how qualified we really are.
*Sign the Petition for Fair Pay & Send Senator McCain Your Resume (or thoughts on the matter) while you're at it:
When you sign the petition, you'll join us in telling Congress: "We Need Equal Pay for Equal Work -- it is good law, make it enforceable again."
(Don't have your resume perfected? At the link above, you can also write a quick note. And, you can describe your training and qualifications to bring the Senator up-to-date. Got friends and colleagues who are more than well-enough educated and trained to deserve equal pay? Tell them to send their resumes in, too!)
Women now make up 58% of college graduates and nearly half of the labor force, but still earn less pay for the same work as men. Worse yet, mothers only make 73 cents to a man's dollar, for the exact same job. College graduate, high school graduate, law school diploma, nursing degree, whatever your training; women should make equal pay for equal work.
Senator McCain's statement is a sad testament to the fact that many leaders are out of touch with the realities of working women today. Maybe as a Senator with only 16 women colleagues, he's simply out of touch with the reality that America has a broad and deep pool of highly qualified, trained, and utterly capable women. Let's remind him of that fact.
Sign the petition for Fair Pay, add your resume and/or comments, forward this email around to friends, and help us change this country, one leader at a time:
-- Kristin, Katie, Roz, Anita, Amy, Joan, Donna, Nanette, and the whole MomsRising.org Team
THE LILLY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT LOWDOWN:
Yesterday the Senate voted 56 Yea to 42 Nea (with 60 votes needed to pass) on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to bring this Act up for a vote again within the next year. All our voices, coming together, can help get those extra 3 votes needed to turn the tide.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 2831) is an important legislative "fix" to a May 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.), which severely limited the ability of victims of pay discrimination to sue and recover damages under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Without this "fix," the impact of the Court's decision will likely be widespread, affecting pay discrimination cases under Title VII involving women and racial and ethnic minorities, as well as cases under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Basically, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is a narrow "fix" to reestablish law that was in place until the U.S. Supreme Court Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. decision of last year. This Act stops us from losing ground on civil rights and fixes a fundamental unfairness in the workplace which many women face.
SOME PRESS LINKS ABOUT THE LEDBETTER DECISION:
New York Times Ledbetter Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05
Washington Post Ledbetter Article: http://www.washingtonpost.com
New York Times Ledbetter Editorial: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05
LA Times Ledbetter Editorial: http://www.latimes.com/news
WHAT OUR ALIGNED ORGANIZATIONS HAVE TO SAY:
Alliance for Justice, http://www.afj.org/assets
Alliance for Justice's 5 minute documentary short on Lilly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
National Women's Law Center, http://www.nwlc.org/display
National Organization for Women, http://www.now.org/issues