WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, ahead of Mother’s Day weekend, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) was joined by four mothers from across the country: Amanda Zurawski from Texas, Karen George from Maryland, Cynthia Davis from Washington, D.C., and Patricia Oliver from Florida at a press conference to condemn the devastating impacts that extreme MAGA policies have on women and families. They shared their personal stories as they continue the fight for reproductive justice, access to food assistance, quality and affordable child care, and gun safety. Below are excerpts from their remarks:

Whip Clark on the MAGA GOP Assault on Moms:

“Instead of building a stronger, safer America, the House GOP is rolling back reproductive freedom, taking food off of kitchen tables, gutting child care, and allowing weapons of war to flood into our communities. This Mother's Day, because of their extreme agenda, moms will have to worry about choosing between groceries and child care. Women will have to worry that politicians are managing their health care – not their doctor. Moms will get ready to send their kids to school on Monday, terrified it might be the last time.

“Moms don't need empty words from politicians. They need leaders who will stand up for what counts. Public officials who will do their jobs – fight for safer communities, for freedom, and for opportunity. Representatives who will put their constituents and their families above all else. That's what moms want. That's what moms deserve.”

Amanda Zurawski on Her Near-Death Encounter With Texas’ Abortion Ban:

“Developing sepsis like I did, a condition that can kill in under an hour, in a car in the middle of the West Texas desert or in an airplane is a death sentence.

“And it's not a choice we should have even had to consider in the first place. So all we could do is wait for days. I was locked in this bizarre and avoidable hell. Would Willow's heart stop or would I deteriorate to the brink of death? The answer came three long days later. In a matter of minutes, I developed chills and chattering teeth so violent I couldn't complete a sentence.

“I was in septic shock. And after Josh rushed me to the hospital, I spent three days in the ICU and another three days in a less critical unit. My vitals crashed twice and I received a blood transfusion. After days of attempting to stabilize my blood pressure and temperature, I was finally able to go home, but the damage was done, and we're still grappling to fully understand the permanent impact this trauma had on my body, my fertility, and the lives of my future babies. The worst part: it was all avoidable.”

Karen George on the Vital Resources WIC Provides Families:

“In the summer of 2013, I gave birth to my oldest son. And going into pregnancy leading up to the day he arrives, I kept thinking to myself: I got this. But when my son wouldn't latch, WIC was there with breastfeeding support. When I needed to cry as I navigated new parenthood, WIC was there. WIC staff were there for me when I found out that I had severe postpartum depression and held my hand, provided me with resources, and assured me that I was not a terrible mother. WIC is so much more than a nutrition program.” 

Cynthia Davis on the Critical Need for Quality, Affordable Child Care:

“Without support and funding, our child care crisis will continue. [Cutting] child care funding would be incredibly harmful to families and small businesses like mine. Many parents I have worked with rely on subsidies to afford high quality child care. Their children are better set up for success by being able to afford child care. 

“The first five years are when a child's brain develops the fastest and when they learn critical social and emotional and academic skills. They need to be ready for kindergarten so they don't fail or don't fall far behind. 

“The proposed funding cuts will mean 200,000 children will lose access to Head Start and 100,000 children will lose access to child care. This is unacceptable. We must invest in child care, not defund it, because our future depends on it. Young children are our future and we must contribute to their success.”

Patricia Oliver on the Murder of Her Son Joaquin and Continued Advocacy for Gun Safety Reform:

“As a mother who lost my son at a school shooting, my mission is to honor Joaquin’s memory and ensure that other mothers don't experience the tragedy and pain of having their child murdered.

“Our new book ‘Joaquin’s First School Shooting’ tells Joaquin’s story through powerful, simple words and illustrations. Written and illustrated as a children's book, it looks like one that you would find in a first grade classroom. Once you read it, you realize it is a haunting account of the terrible reality of gun violence and its impact in the United States.

“Joaquin was an innocent kid who cared and lived out his dreams. Through this book, his spirit lives on. We know he would be passionately fighting alongside us to help solve the gun violence epidemic in this country. This book is a call to action to ban assault rifles. Maybe Joaquin can get inside the hearts of politicians and help them understand the horrendous moments he went through on February 14th.” 

Photos of the event can be found HERE, the full event can be viewed HERE

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