Does Rush Limbaugh Hate Working Moms?

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Whitney Moss blogs at Rookie Moms and serves on the board of Help A Mother Out, an Oakland-based grassroots organization dedicated to getting diapers to women in need.

What happens when moms run out of money? They have to make tough decisions. Rent? Food? Bus fare? Diapers? These expenses are never-ending, and for many, overwhelming.
 
Food stamps and WIC do not cover diapers, and the result is that 1 of 3 American women struggles to provide diapers for her baby*.  Women are using diapers for more hours than are comfortable for the baby, resulting in fussy babies, extra diaper rash, and anxious, embarrassed mothers. It’s a crappy situation. (Pun intended.)
 

diapers

Credit Image: x86x86 via Flickr

We’ve identified a cycle that we think we can help break. And I’m posting here to ask you to help.
 
Like most babysitters or daycares you may have used, free and subsidized daycares expect parents to drop off diapers along with their baby or toddler. When families run low on funds, typically at the end of the month, and can’t afford the required diapers, they cannot leave their child at the daycare. This means Mom has to miss work, losing wages, getting further and further behind. Diapers are expensive! And if your access to supplies is a corner convenience store, prices are even higher.  49 million Americans are living below the poverty line.**  This is no small problem.
 
Why can’t the daycares help out by offering diapers to their clients? Because their funds are strictly defined and diapers are not included in the budget.
 
Let’s change that!

The DIAPER Act proposes a minor change to the existing Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 by permitting agencies who receive funds to determine if they want to use some of the Block Grant funds they currently receive to purchase diapers for qualified families. The DIAPER Act does not require additional funds.

On Babble, where Katherine Stone posted Low-Income Families Can't Access Childcare without Diapers, a commenter responded:
 

FREE childcare
FREE food stamps/SNAP/WIC
FREE housing
FREE lunches, breakfasts and sometimes even dinner
FREE healthcare

Now, FREE diapers?
Why on earth are they having children while on entitlements?

I can't imagine a better response than the comment that followed, leading with
 
I can’t believe how many babies out there are just looking for a free ride. My babies worked hard to earn their diapers. Handing them out to undeserving babies just promotes laziness. Um, wait. I forgot that all babies are completely helpless and incapable of meeting their own needs.
 

Apparently the original commenter had been listening to Rush Limbaugh, who said on his radio show:

I am not making up the diaper bill, folks.  I'm not making up anything I said about it.  Free diapers for every mother who has a kid in daycare.  If you're a stay-at-home mother or unemployed you and don't use daycare you don't get free diapers.  I mean this gives a new meaning to the term pampering the poor.  Just absurd.

 He went on say sarcastically

Can't have children staying home with their mothers.  Why, that would be horrible.  Can't have mothers at home with their kids.  Why, we need the kids in the daycare center so we can corrupt 'em and pollute 'em and propagandize 'em, indoctrinate 'em.

So I just want to clarify (in case Mr. Limbaugh is spending any time on BlogHer.com) that the DIAPER act is not asking for additional monies, nor is it seeking to incentivize mothers to work by providing free diapers. As if. I share his words in this space because they got me pretty fired up, and I want them to have the same effect on you.

If you are in support of liberating publicly funded daycares to purchase diaper supplies with some of their monies – if they choose – please sign the online petition. If you’d like more ways to raise awareness about diaper need, please visit us at Help A Mother Out.

*Figure from a study funded by Huggies’ Every Little Bottom program in 2010.
**Bill Clinton just said that on The Daily Show as I was drafting this post.

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