In July, the provincial government announced that it will be cutting Lactation Services to “find savings,” resulting in immediate concerns being raised about the impact these cuts will have on maternal and infant health.
A “breast feeding picnic and rally” was held on August 1 outside the Manitoba Legislature.
CUPE 2348 members Erin Bockstael and Sarah Harpe, who both work in health care spoke about the impacts these cuts will have on families and community health. “Every dollar you cut from lactation services will have a negative impact on families, and will end up costing more down the road,” said Harpe. “Every dollar you invest in lactation services will see improved maternal and child health outcomes, and that in itself will save health costs in the future, not to mention the positive impact it will have countless women and children.”
CUPE 3909 member and community activist Brianne Goertzen also spoke, saying that the provincial government is picking a fight with the wrong people. “When you cut services to new mothers and their infants, you are taking on a fight you cannot win,” said Goertzen. “We will continue to speak up against these cuts, and we will continue to fight against any future cuts this government forces on families.”
On behalf of all CUPE members in Manitoba, a huge thank you goes out to event organizer Brett Mann!