Use your Voice, Make a Difference

Earlier this month we wrote about how every citizen, voice and vote makes a difference. Now we’re asking you to use your voice once again to say, “Thank You.”

In the spirit of giving back, we want you to thank Senators Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) for introducing a bill that could save mothers’ and babies’ lives around the world.

Senate bill S.2853, titled The Accelerating Action in Maternal and Child Health Act of 2014, was introduced in September and we blogged about its potential impact for generating discussion and motivating action. The purpose of S. 2853 is to accelerate reduction in deaths of moms and children in 24 low-income countries with additional funds and private partnerships.” It calls upon the President to develop a comprehensive and coordinated maternal and child health strategy with specific objectives and clear, measurable benchmarks focused on four “buckets” of interventions:

  1. Safe delivery and newborn survival;
  2. Healthy households including water;
  3. Sanitation, hygiene and nutrition;
  4. Treatment and prevention of childhood illnesses

The work of non-profit organizations (including EMC) to improve maternal and child health is important, but it’s going to take large-scale government and private-sector involvement like the measures introduced in S.2853 to really move the dial. The fact that this bill was introduced by Senators of both the Republican and Democratic parties is a tremendous reflection on our government leaders who recognize that saving mothers lives and coming together to take action are essential.

Introduction of a bill is an important first step, but there’s a long way to go before it becomes law; longer still until the funds delegated by that law are utilized to support safe, effective and compassionate maternal health programs. The fact that it is getting support from both sides of the aisle is critical and took considerable effort and focus from the three Senators who were willing to stand up and say, “This is a priority to me.” Now, we want to increase the focus on passing this bill by loading it with gratitude.

At a time when people are grateful and thankful for what they have, we are asking you to take action on behalf of mothers around the world by saying, “Thank You.” We know that most phone calls and emails Senators receive come in the form of complaints, and it’s just as important to guide legislation by showing support for what we’re happy about. Bills become laws when leaders and citizens come together to support priority issues. Nothing could be a bigger priority than making pregnancy, childbirth and a child’s first years safe for every mother and child.

Here’s how you can say, “Thank you:”

  • Call, tweet or Facebook message Senator Coons, Senator Graham and/or Senator Cardin and say, “Thank You for supporting S. 2853, the Accelerating Action in Maternal and Child Health Act to save and improve the lives of women and children around the globe.”
  • Then, call your own Senator and tell him or her that you just thanked Senators Coons, Graham and Cardin for supporting S.2853 and you want them to support it too. You can find your Senator’s contact info here.

Here’s all the contact info you need to reach Senators Coons, Graham and Cardin:

Chris Coons (Dem-Delaware)

Tel: (202) 224–5042

https://twitter.com/ChrisCoons @ChrisCoons

Lindsey Graham (Rep-South Carolina)

Tel: (202) 224–5972

https://twitter.com/GrahamBlog @GrahamBlog

Ben Cardin (Dem-Maryland)

Tel: (202) 224–4524

https://twitter.com/SenatorCardin @SenatorCardin

This month, helping mothers to access the lifesaving healthcare they need for both themselves and their babies is as easy as saying, “Thanks.”

Topics: Human Rights, Maternal Health