The week of June 22, 2015 will definitely go down in American History. SCOTUS saved the Affordable Care Act/Obama Care on June 25, 2015. SCOTUS legalizes same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015, but there is still so much more work to be done.
Within those victories, we have found that we as a country and a society are not as progressive as we would like to believe. Our victories brought up the realization that there are still hundreds of issues that still need to be resolved, such as the State of Motherhood in the United States.
Save the Children recently released the "State of the World's Mothers 2015: The Urban Disadvantage" on the evening of Monday, May 4, 2015. It comes to no surprise that the United States is not in the Top 10. With the war against women’s health and reproductive rights, our position was locked in place.
The report focuses heavily on the infant mortality rate in urban regions. The infant mortality rate is also in relationship to the lack of access to adequate resources and services for mothers, and the discrimination due to zip code.
Family Friendly Cities ranks Seattle at Number 9 on 10 Cities with the Least Children in 2013 (Number 49 out of 50 cities). There are a number of contributing factors to the low percentage of children in Seattle during that year.
“The family life of our grandparents — a stay-at-home mom, working dad — is so far gone for middle-class families here that it feels like a fable. Instead, we have the ever-shifting logistics of family life, complicated by traffic, expensive housing and child care, a ferocious 24-hour work culture and lack of connection” (Susan Kelleher, www.seattletimes.com).
Young mothers are dealing with numerous issues regarding access to adequate resources and services. Young mothers are facing rising housing and child care expenses. While it is illegal to discriminate against pregnant workers or potential hires, it still happens. Young mothers are unable to find suitable employment options because either they are discriminated against for being pregnant, single mothers, and/or on the basis that their child care facility is not operating during the time of their work shift. It is becoming increasingly difficult for urban young mothers and their children to thrive in locations like Seattle or Washington, D.C.
Local organizations are recognizing the difficulties that young mothers (and families) are having. The two organizations below provide resources like maternity housing for young mothers, and information to resources and services.
"ParentHelp123.org, is operated by the statewide non-profit WithinReach, and helps Washington State families find services in their communities and apply for health insurance, food assistance programs and more. The website also provides important health information for pregnant women, children and families."
"Friends of Youth's New Ground Transitional Living Programs provide safe housing, supportive case management services, life skills training, educational and employment guidance, counseling and parenting education for homeless young adults.
Programs for Young Mothers (ages 18-21)
New Ground Bothell and New Ground Sand Point provide a supportive structured environment for young single women who are pregnant or parenting a child under three years old. Residents may remain in the program for up to 24 months."
Please do not forget that we need to support the organizations that are supporting our community and that are trying to keep families and diversity in the city. Let's support them as they support us.
National Women's Law Center: Pregnancy, Parenting, and the Workplace
Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Know your pregnancy rights
City of Seattle, Human Services Department: Child Care Assistance Program