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Mothers call for affordable child care and reproductive justice at Lansing Mamas' March

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 15, 2022

LANSING, Mich. — The heat didn’t keep members of Mothering Justice from their work on Wednesday. The group gathered at the Michigan state Capitol to advocate for issues like affordable child care, reproductive justice and time off for workers.

“We’re here today for the 10th annual Mamas' March," said Danielle Atkinson, the founding director of Mothering Justice. "This is an opportunity for our mama members to talk to their lawmakers about the issues that are affecting their financial stability.”

The Mamas' March was created more than a decade ago to amplify the voices of mothers of color.

In the U.S., mothers of color have a much higher maternal mortality rate compared to white women. Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy related complications than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We have a lot of work to do to close the gap between Black moms and white moms when it comes to survival after child birth," Atkinson said.

For Roquesha O’Neal and Antoinette James who attended the rally, support for child care and better access to paid time off are the two main issues they want to see tackled.

“There are a lot of parents out there that want to work, but they cannot find proper child care, or they’re sick themselves and can’t get time off work," said O'Neal.

“We need paid sick leave for all of us as women because we are the pillars of our families," said James.

The Mamas' March members split into groups to meet with legislators to advocate for mothers of color.

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