YES! I support the Young Parents' Dignity Agenda!
Access to healthcare, jobs, housing, childcare and education
Add your name to a letter to Congress to support the Young Parents Dignity Agenda:
We support the Young Parents’ Dignity Agenda and strongly urge Congressional members to do the same.
We call on our elected decision makers to increase access for pregnant and parenting youth and their families to healthcare, housing, childcare, jobs and education. We know that when we give young families the information, resources, and supports they need, their families will thrive.
Dear Members of Congress,
As pregnant and parenting youth and the people who are in families and communities with them, we call on members of Congress to support the Young Parents' Dignity Agenda, a commitment to federal legislation and policies that provide pregnant and parenting youth the respect, recognition, and resources they need to continue building a successful foundation for their families.
Young parents, like all parents, need fair employment, educational opportunities, healthcare, housing, and childcare in order to be successful. Unfortunately, pregnant and parenting youth face discriminatory practices and inequities in the workplace, in educational settings, and in access to healthcare, and often struggle with homelessness or lack of affordable childcare. In 2010, only 50 percent of young mothers were able to receive their high school diploma by the time they reached the age of 22.1 In the workplace, pregnant and parenting youth are over-represented in low wage jobs where they may be more likely to experience pregnancy discrimination. In fact, women ages 16 to 24, including women of color, are 21 percent of workers in these jobs.2 Immigrant pregnant and parenting youth, including those authorized to live and work in the United States, often cannot access healthcare and insurance coverage because of their immigration status. More than 1.5 million undocumented, immigrant men and women are between the ages of 19 to 243 and many more are lawfully present. Finally, pregnant and parenting youth struggle to secure childcare and housing for their families, making it harder for them to pursue their educational goals.
The Young Parents' Dignity Agenda includes a commitment to five key issues, exemplified by following legislative and budgetary policies:
- Fair Employment: The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) (H.R. 1975, S. 942), which will ensure that pregnant youth are provided reasonable accommodations when needed so they can continue supporting their families and maintain healthy pregnancies.
- Education and Opportunity: The Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act (PPSAE) (H.R. 1845, S. 870), which supports pregnant and parenting students in completing their high school education by providing the resources and tools they need at school to succeed.
- Healthcare for All: The Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act (H.R. 4240), which restores health coverage and removes politically created barriers to healthcare so that immigrants, including immigrant youth, can participate in the healthcare programs their tax dollars support.
- Access to Childcare and Educational Programs for Kids: The Strong Start for America's Children Act (H.R. 3461, S. 1697) which expands high-quality prekindergarten programs to children in low- and moderate-income families, and increases in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant by at least $807 million and the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships by $850 million, which both help low-income families access child care and early education for infants and toddlers.
- Affordable Housing: The Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act (S. 1754), which will improve housing security for low-income youth, including pregnant and parenting youth.
We support The Young Parents' Dignity Agenda and strongly urge Congressional members to do the same. We know that when we give pregnant and parenting youth and their families the information, resources, and supports they need, their families will thrive.
- J. Egan L.S. Kaufmann. National Women’s Law Center. Executive Summary. A Pregnancy Test for Schools: The Impact of Education Laws on Pregnant and Parenting Students; 2012:1. Available here.
- J. Entmacher, K. Gallagher Robins, & L. Frolich. National Women’s Law Center. Women are 76 Percent of Workers in the 10 Largest Low-Wage Jobs and Suffer a 10 Percent Wage Gap; 2014. Available here.
- R. Capps et al. Migration Policy Institute. A Demographic, Socioeconomic, and Health Coverage Profile of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States; 2013: 3. Available here.