The following is a statement from A Better Balance Co-Founder and Co-President Dina Bakst:
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill language was released last night and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was not included in the text, even after Leader Schumer recently said “the best solution to get this done is to include [the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act] in the upcoming NDAA.”
The next step Leader Schumer must take is clear: He must file cloture on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and bring it to a floor vote today.
It would be unconscionable to fail to act on a bill with this level of support from unions, faith leaders, businesses and associations, civil rights, maternal health, and economic justice groups, influential spokespeople, pregnant workers, and constituents.
To see the bill fall out of the NDAA is a devastating blow for women and their families across the country, who are counting on our Congressional leaders to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act at a time when families are scraping by economically, in the midst of a Black maternal and infant health crisis, and as Congress has thus far failed to deliver on many promises for women and families this year.
Our communities will not sit idly by if the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act does not become law in 2022. He will have to answer to the millions of pregnant and postpartum workers who so desperately need these protections, women like Denizer Carter and Takirah Woods, two pregnant workers who rallied last week with members of Congress and other advocates to say: “My family’s well being is relying on this bill being passed today.”
There is still time for Leader Schumer to act and for Congress to send a clear message to the women of this country, who just showed up en masse in Georgia yesterday to once again display their political power, and that their needs and voices matter.