July 8, 2014


FAMILY LEAVE AND PREGNANT WORKERS' RIGHTS: "Celebrating 10 Years of Paid Family Leave in California -- Now Let's Get the Word Out!" Maria Shriver, Huffington Post  blogs: "This month California is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its first-in-the-nation Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, which has helped than 1.5 million parents take paid time away from work to bond with a newborn or adopted child," Shriver, a journalist and former first lady of California, writes. Research since the law's passage has shown that "paid family leave offers real and lasting benefits both to families and to employers," including higher rates of breastfeeding and better child health outcomes, lower rates of postpartum depression, and "neutral or even positive impact on [companies'] productivity and ... bottom line," Shriver adds. However, she notes that California parents file for paid family leave in just 36% of the more than half a million annual births and that, nationwide, just 12% of "American workers have access to paid family leave to care for a new child or a sick family member" (Shriver, Huffington Post blogs, 7/2).

What others are saying about family leave and pregnant workers' rights:

~ "Keeping Pregnant Workers on the Job Unanimously Carries the Day in Delaware," Emily Werth, National Women's Law Center's "Womenstake."

~ "Roberts Court Takes Up Issue of Accommodating Pregnant Workers," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check.

~ "Taking Paternity Leave Makes Other Dads More Likely To Do the Same," Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic.


 "While You Were Paying Attention to Hobby Lobby, it Got Harder To Get an Abortion," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress": While "[a]ll eyes have been trained on the Supreme Court ... as the justices delivered a highly-anticipated decision" in the Hobby Lobby case, "that's not the only recent policy change related to reproductive rights," Culp-Ressler writes, noting that "several new abortion restrictions also became law" in various states. She explains that many state laws take effect at the start their fiscal year, which is usually July 1. She details new restrictions on abortion rights in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi and South Dakota (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/6).

What others are saying about abortion access and restrictions:

~ "Jay Nixon Vetoes a Terrible Abortion Bill," Dorothy Samuels, New York Times' "Taking Note."

~ "National Right to Life Director Admits Pregnancy is Riskier Than Abortion," Sofia Resnick, RH Reality Check.

~ "Supreme Court Aftermath: Striking Down Buffer Zones Puts Doctors, Patients, Health-Care Workers at Risk," Margaret Nickens, Ms. Magazine blog.

~ "Gulf Residents are Already Turning to DIY Abortions," Marty, Care2.