Gillibrand 2020
May 22, 2019


Five ‘Fundamental’ Rights Span from Maternal Safety to Universal Pre-K --  Improves Children's Shot at Health, Safety & Future Academic Success

'Family Bill of Rights' Makes Parenthood More Affordable & Achievable

Today, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced her new "Family Bill of Rights" that she would enact in her first 100 Days as president, to help level the playing field in the first years of a child’s life and ease the enormous financial burden that families bear when they bring home and raise a child.

Fast Facts on "Family Bill of Rights":

WHAT: Kirsten Gillibrand’s “Family Bill of Rights” for first 100 Days as president

WHO: Every child in America, from birth to kindergarten, and their parent(s)

  • Start every child on equal footing to ensure safety, health and success throughout childhood
  • Make parenthood more safe, affordable & accessible for those who want it

HOW: Five fundamental rights ensured to all of America’s children and parents:
  • Right to a safe and healthy pregnancy, by improving maternal care and rural access to OBGYNs
  • Right to have or bring home a child through affordable IVF or adoption, regardless of income, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion
  • Right to a safe and affordable nursery for newborns
  • Right to personally care for your loved ones with paid leave, including care for your child in its infancy
  • Right to affordable child care and universal pre-K, to ensure early education is available before kindergarten
WHEN: Gillibrand’s first 100 days as President

COSTS: The “Family Bill of Rights” can be paid for with Gillibrand's financial transaction tax, which would raise over $777 billion in the next decade.

"My new proposal, the Family Bill of Rights, will make all families stronger - regardless of who you are or what your zip code is - with a fundamental set of rights that levels the playing field starting at birth. Passing the Family Bill of Rights will be my priority in my first 100 Days as president, and I believe it will transform American families and their ability to achieve the American Dream," 
said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.


The resources and care available at the start of a child’s life have a crucial impact on their health, safety, development and future success. Yet not every child starts on equal footing.

Substantial disparities exist for children and families depending on their socioeconomic status and where they live, particularly related to health care, education and other key resources that impact a child’s development. Some differences, such as maternal care, start even before birth, while others, such as access to safe nurseries, food and clothing, start on day one.

Gillibrand’s Family Bill of Rights would provide every person in America with a fundamental set of rights from birth to when they enter kindergarten, to give every child the chance to succeed no matter what block they grew up on. Her plan would make it more attainable for all individuals to safely and affordably become parents—regardless of income, race, gender, or where you live — and ensure they have some of the most critical tools to raise their child in a way that maximizes their future potential. It includes five fundamental rights, backed up by bold policy proposals:

  1. Right to a safe and healthy pregnancy:

    • Problem: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 50,000 women experience a complication or death during childbirth in the United States each year, and that about 60% of those are preventable. This is often because hospitals don’t invest the resources necessary for supplies and don’t provide proper training for medical staff to better detect signs of complications surrounding childbirth. Due to access to care, there is also a crisis in rural America, where hospitals are closing their doors and the shortage of OB-GYN doctors forces pregnant women to travel far from their homes in order to give birth or see their doctor. In addition, there is significant evidence of institutional racism in the maternal healthcare system, resulting in disproportionately high maternal mortality rates among black women.

    • Solution through better maternal care: Gillibrand will address maternal mortality by providing states and hospitals with access to new resources to develop and implement standardized best practices in order to prevent and respond to complications arising from pregnancy. 

    • Solution through more rural care: Gillibrand will address the shortage of OB-GYNs in rural areas and increase access to care, which also combats maternal and infant mortality. The plan will be modeled off of Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s legislation to further study maternal and obstetric health data in rural communities, to develop training networks for rural health facilities, and to address the workforce shortage by improving training and grant funding for rural health providers.

  1. Right to give birth or adopt a child, regardless of income, sexual orientation, religion or gender identity:

    • Problem: Depending on your sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, or religion, conceiving or adopting a child can be extremely difficult if not impossible. Gillibrand believes that having or adopting a child should be a fundamental right if an individual wants one. Meanwhile, there are more than 400,000 children in the foster care system, with over 120,000 waiting for a permanent family.

    • Solution through Equal Adoption Rights: Gillibrand’s plan would ensure that taxpayer-funded adoption and child welfare agencies do not discriminate against foster and adoptive families on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion, and would prevent discrimination against any foster youth because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    • Solution through Adoption Tax Credits: Gillibrand would also offer refundable adoption tax credits to help ensure that a family’s ability to adopt and provide a stable home for a child in need is not dependent on notable wealth. 

    • Solution through Affordable Fertility: For lower-income families who cannot conceive a baby independently, alternate options like fertility treatment are cost-prohibitive and often out of reach. These services should be accessible and affordable for any family that needs them, and Gillibrand’s plan would require insurance companies to cover the cost of fertility treatments like IVF.

  1. Right to a safe and affordable nursery:

    • Problem: The USDA estimates that diapers, formula and baby food alone can cost $50 per week, and that does not include the larger items like cribs, clothes and other vital equipment. Even the least expensive cribs can cost hundreds of dollars. When families cannot afford these items, it can impact the safety of where babies sleep and what they eat, which can be correlated with infant mortality.

    • “Baby Bundle” Solution: Gillibrand will launch a program to provide baby bundles for all expectant parents, so that all families - regardless of income - can afford the cost of the supplies needed to raise and care for a newborn in a safe setting. These baby bundles include critical items for a child’s first month at home, like diapers, swaddle blankets and onesies, all in a decorated box with a small mattress that can be repurposed as a nursery bed.

      • Other countries like Finland provide these bundles to all expectant mothers, and have successfully and dramatically lowered rates of infant mortality as a result. In the United States, Ohio, Alabama, New Jersey and Texas all offer a version of the program for new families. 

      • This program would be administered  through Health and Human Services and would work in conjunction with state organizations to provide these crucial tools.

  1. Right to personally care for your loved ones while still getting paid, including care for your child in its infancy:

    • Problem: Too many people face the impossible choice between earning their paycheck or caring for themselves and their family members in times of great need, including for adequate maternity and paternity care.

    • Solution Paid Family Leave: As Gillibrand has fought for since 2013, her plan would create a national paid family and medical leave program that ensures people can stay in the workforce even when they have a child or need to take care of a sick loved one.

    • Solution Universal CHIP: Beyond paid family leave, Gillibrand’s plan would also ensure that every child has the right to medical care by making the existing CHIP program universal. Importantly, Gillibrand’s plan would auto-enroll every child into CHIP at birth - with an option for opting out - and give them access to Medicaid’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT), a comprehensive benefit program that is the best health coverage available for children.

  1. Right to affordable child care and early education before kindergarten is available publicly:

    • Problem: According to a study by Stanford University, by the age of three, a 30 million word gap exists between low-income children and children from wealthy families. This major disparity in vocabulary and cognitive development at an early age is directly connected with reading skills and school performance later in life, and Gillibrand’s plan to provide affordable daycare and universal pre-K would directly combat this disparity. Access to these early childhood education opportunities and child care also takes a massive financial burden off of families, and would prevent individuals - especially mothers - from being forced to leave their jobs because the cost of childcare exceeds their wages.

    • Solution Affordable Child Care: Gillibrand’s plan would greatly expand the Child and Dependent Care tax credit, to cover up to 50% of $12,000 in qualifying care, and making the credit refundable so low and middle income families can receive the full value of their credit.

    • Solution Universal Pre-K: Assist states in creating truly universal pre-K programs; professionalize at home and day care, expanding access for children with disabilities, and supporting the child care workforce.

PAY FOR: To fund the Family Bill of Rights, Gillibrand supports several ideas, including passing a Financial Transaction Tax, which would provide $777 billion over the next decade.

Gillibrand 2020
May 23, 2019

ICYMI: Gillibrand Announces 'Family Bill of Rights' To Make Parenthood More Affordable & Achievable

In a Medium post and video yesterday, Senator Gillibrand announced her "Family Bill of Rights," a new economic policy platform, which she would enact in her first 100 days as president. It guarantees a set of fundamental rights to give every child the chance to succeed — no matter what block they grow up on.

See below for a roundup of the coverage

New York Times Kirsten Gillibrand Proposes Huge Investments in Maternal Health, Child Care and Education

CNN Kirsten Gillibrand pledges to implement 'Family Bill of Rights' in first 100 days of presidency if elected

HuffPost | Kirsten Gillibrand Promises Paid Leave, Child Care, Universal Pre-K In First 100 Days

Des Moines Register Kirsten Gillibrand focuses on care for the youngest, rural healthcare in new plan she will discuss in Iowa

Vox Kirsten Gillibrand’s new policy platform is about making parenting affordable

Politico How Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand would address maternal and child health

Reuters | Senator Gillibrand wants insurance to pay for fertility treatments

Associated Press | Gillibrand proposes more access to maternal care, adoption

ABC News | Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand releases 'Family Bill of Rights' agenda

CBS News | Kirsten Gillibrand proposes "Family Bill of Rights" to make raising children safer, more affordable

Refinery29 | Kirsten Gillibrand Unveils Bold Child-Care, Maternal Health & Paid Family Leave Plan

New York Magazine | Kirsten Gillibrand’s New Policies Aim to Make Raising a Family Easier

Daily Beast | Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Unveils First 100 Days Plan

The Hill | Gillibrand rolls out 'Family Bill of Rights' to ease parents' financial burdens

Bustle | Kirsten Gillibrand's "Family Bill of Rights" Aims To Improve The Lives Of Parents & Kids

NowThis Kirsten Gillibrand Announces Family Bill of Rights in 2020 Campaign