Supporting AB 1579 – Healthy Babies Act of 2014

Did you know that the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) reports that domestic violence is more common than any other health problem among women during pregnancy? Or that one in six pregnant women reported physical or sexual abuse during pregnancy? 

To learn more about domestic violence and pregnancy, click here.

This is why the Domestic Violence Team of the Women’s Policy Institute is working with Assemblymember Mark Stone’s office to ensure that AB 1579 – Healthy Babies Act of 2014 passes this year. The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program provides cash assistance to families with incomes below the federal poverty level. The purpose of CalWORKs is to provide for the well-being of children, address the employment barriers parents may have, and promote job training preparation. In general, only families with children are eligible for CalWORKs benefits. However, a pregnant woman without any eligible children may apply for benefits to begin in the third trimester of her pregnancy in anticipation of the birth of her child. According to the Urban Institute, California is in the minority of states that require women to wait until the third trimester to be eligible for federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) grants, the federal program that funds the state’s CalWORKs program. 

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

Action Needed: We need individuals and organization to send in Support letters for AB 1579 by Friday, April 25th! If you can send a support letter, please e-mail for more information. 

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