Happy Mother's Day from Party Chair Casey Steinau

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Remember the Ladies

In March of 1776 Abigail Adams made this simple request in a letter to her husband as he and our founding Fathers fought for America’s independence.  As we take time this week to celebrate the women in our lives, more specifically our mothers, it is important to remember Abigail’s words.

April 4th we “celebrated” another holiday for women, equal pay day.  This day symbolizes just how many more months a woman needs to work than her male counterparts did in the previous year – in this case it was just over 3 months or 25%.  Thank Mom for putting in 50 hours to make what Dad does in 40.

And today, May 14th, is Mother’s Day—the single day each year that moms are formally recognized for the other 364 days spent juggling parenting and work, fulfilling duties in that most important role. 

On Mother’s Day and throughout the year, we hope and expect our elected officials to show their respect for women (who comprise over 50% of their constituents) through their words, actions, and votes.  It is crucial that our leaders commit to honor women and the issues that are important to us and our families.

We all remember President Donald Trump’s unfortunate statements about women, both on the campaign trail and in debates during the election cycle.  America now has a President that ranks women based on appearance on a scale from one to ten, calls breastfeeding mothers “disgusting” and pregnant women in the workplace “an inconvenience.” He does not support reproductive choice or offering adequate family planning resources, and for all the lip service he has given to paid family leave, no proposed policy has come from his Administration.

On top of this, Trump’s so-called “skinny” budget—which is supported by Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan—unduly affects rural Alaska in proposing massive cuts to programs required under the Violence Against Women Act, home heating programs that disproportionately help households led by single moms, and funding for the Legal Aid Corporation which provides sliding scale legal services for married women and mothers fleeing domestic violence situations. 

Alaskan mothers have another layer of challenges with Republican Congressman Don Young sitting in our only Congressional seat.  Young is obsessed with efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, where approximately 90% of the offered services are preventative care.  If Young had his way, moms wouldn’t be able to visit those clinics for colon cancer and diabetes screenings, breast exams and mammogram referrals, cervical cancer screenings, routine physical exams, and pap smears.  Young has appeared proud in his statement that he “has voted in favor of legislation to prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds in the past and will do so again should it come before the U.S. House.”  We certainly deserve better than this.

I wonder how Abigail Adams would react to such anti-woman, anti-mother sentiments two centuries following her husband’s presidency?  She probably would have more colorful words to offer besides “remember the ladies.”