Recently I attended the 2022 virtual AWHONN on Capitol Hill. The 2-day program is held yearly in March and this year there were 5 attendees from Illinois. Day 1 provides education on the legislative process, how to lobby, and reviews current bills supported by the organization. On day 2 each member has 3 pre-scheduled appointments with the staff of your district’s Senators and Representatives. As AWHONN members we provide a voice in support of current bills before congress, relaying stories or examples on how that bill would make a difference. Four bills of many are chosen as priority by the AWHONN team and attendees are provide with talking points and fact sheets on each bill. The priority legislation this year included:

HR945/S287 Perinatal Workforce Act

This bill establishes programs and requires research to diversify the Perinatal workforce and advance respectful maternal care delivery models.

HR 3407/ S411 Momma’s Act

The bill establishes various programs, requirements, and technical assistance to reduce maternal and offspring mortality and morbidity.

HR1195 Workplace Violence

Bill requires OSHA to issue a standard to have a plan in place to prevent violence in the workplace and respond when it does.

PUMP S1658

Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act

The bill expands workplace protections for employees with a need to express breast milk.

In each of our lobby appointments we were encouraged to keep in touch with the office, asked for follow up information and sent letters to reinforce our message. To learn more about legislation activities with AWHONN visit the Advocacy Page at: Advocate – AWHONN

Peggy Cowling AWHONN Illinois Legislative Coordinator