Home > Current Campaigns, Healthy Reproduction >

Introducing The Healthy Babies Act of 2014

Posted on Feb 21, 2014
Tweet This! Email This! Share This on Facebook Bookmark and Share

Mother and ChildThe Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) has selected Nicole Marquez as one of 25 fellows enrolled in a yearlong training program for women activists engaged in social justice work. During this time, the fellows work in teams to develop and implement specific policy initiatives that address the needs of low-income women and families.

Nicole is a member of the Domestic Violence Team, which is working to pass the Healthy Babies Act of 2014, AB 1579, authored by Assembly Member Mark Stone and co-authored by Senator Holly Mitchell.

This bill would change the state’s CalWORKs statute to allow for pregnant women (with no other children in the household) to become eligible for CalWORKs basic needs grants upon verification of the pregnancy.

Currently, women must wait until the third trimester of pregnancy. This puts pregnant women who are CalWORKs-eligible and experiencing domestic violence in a vulnerable position, because domestic violence often begins or escalates in severity during pregnancy.

Financial dependence often forces women to remain in abusive relationships, and during pregnancy that financial dependence often increases. Additionally, women employed in low-wage industries who may be exposed to harmful chemicals can receive much needed prenatal care so as to ward off potential damaging effects to the mothers' and babies’ health.

Allowing women to obtain CalWORKs benefits earlier in their pregnancy will lessen undue stress on newly expectant mothers, by ensuring earlier access to basic needs grants that can mitigate financial burdens, eliminate dependence on abusive partners, and ensure better health outcomes for their babies.

Support Worksafe, Donate Now