Kirsten Gillibrand promises ‘Family Bill of Rights’ with benefits from conception to kindergarten

May 22, 2019 GMT

Presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Wednesday proposed new government benefits and protections for children and parents, including access to affordable in vitro fertilization treatments regardless of income, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.

Ms. Gillibrand said her Family Bill of Rights would cover children from conception to kindergarten, starting every child on equal footing.

“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 levelsthe playing field starting at birth, said Ms. Gillibrand, New York Democrat.

Under the plan, Americans would have rights ranging from maternal care and rural access to OBGYNs to affordable nursery services for newborns and universal pre-kindergarten.

The new benefits would be paid for with her proposed tax on financial transactions, which wouldraise an estimated $777 billion over 10 years, said the Gillibrand campaign.


Struggling to climb above 1% in the polls, Ms. Gillibrand has focused her campaign on women and family issues. Shes also joined many of her rivals in taking a strong stance against new state laws restricting abortions, saying access to abortion services is a life and death issue for women.

Some items in the Family Bill of Rights, such as paid family leave and universal pre-K, have long been on the wish list for Ms. Gillibrand and most of her 2020 Democratic rivals.

However, her proposal went farther than others in expanding rights to adopt and conceive children.

The new rights include measures to 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.

It also would prevent discrimination against foster children because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, according to the plan.

She promised to expand access to fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) that are often too expensive for lower-income families, requiring insurance companies to cover the cost of fertility treatments such as IVF, according to the plan.

Ms. Gillibrand vowed that if elected she would make the Family Bill of Rights a priority in her first 100 days in the White House.