When Lived Experiences Drive Social Standards and State Law

In Nyssa's weekly 'Need to Know' series, we recap the three most important stories related to reproductive health, sex education, and bodily autonomy.

New Jersey Will Send All New Parents a Free In-Home Nurse Visit

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law on Thursday providing every new parent access to free in-home visits from a nurse. The legislation includes adoptive parents and those who have experienced a stillbirth. The in-home visits would include a physical and mental health wellness check for the newborn and the parent(s) including support for breast/chestfeeding and assistance in diagnosing and treating perinatal mood disorders. New Jersey is the second state in the U.S., after Oregon, to offer a universal visitation program.

Olympic Athletes Are Putting Mental Health and Accountability First
When Simone Biles withdrew from the women's gymnastics all-around final on Tuesday she showed the world what it means to put your mental health first. She told NBC's Hoda Kotb part of the reason she wanted to compete at the Tokyo Olympics was to hold those in the sport accountable after Larry Nassar's sexual abuse. Other athletes are doing the same. Biles' teammate Aly Raisman spoke about Nassar and a group of 6 U.S. fencers filed a complaint about U.S. fencing alternate Alen Hadzic's sexual misconduct.

Mothers Influencers LA Lawmakers to Provide Tax Credit for Bereaved Families
In a powerful OpenDemocracy piece, Joni Hess describes how she helped pass a $2,000 income tax credit in Louisiana for families who've experienced a stillbirth. After writing about losing her daughter for Vox, Kimberly Novod, the Executive Director of Saul's Light, a nonprofit that supports people after stillbirth, contacted her to help in passing the bipartisan bill. Two months after Hess and others gave their testimony, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed it into law.