Changing Tables Will Be in All Federal Men’s Rooms Now. Thanks, Obama

Young father is about to change his baby boy's diapers.

Finding a changing station is hard enough if you’re a mom, but for dads, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack (AKA: pretty tough). But now, President Obama signed a new law this month that will bring more changing stations into all bathrooms of federal buildings across the United States. Finally, right? It’s like we’ve been living in 1975 or something.

Basically, this means federal buildings have two years to get the changing stations in place, thanks to the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES)” Act. Rep. David Cicilline, who brought the act forth, stated in Slate that it’s been long overdue:

“Families should never have to deal with inadequate facilities in a publicly-accessible federal building.”

This new act is a necessary reminder that our politicians can make the lives of Americans better–especially in a climate of political nastiness. While the law won’t put changing stations in every single bathroom across America, which is disappointing, it still sets a monumental precedence, showing that equal parenting is important. And you know, that dads can (and should) change their baby’s diaper. It’s not that dads don’t want it either–last year, Ashton Kutcher petitioned for more changing stations:

“Having changing tables in men’s rooms is just a tiny step in the process of rectifying legacy gender discrimination. Men who are aware of this bias want to participate equally in the child care process, and our society should support that. It’s time to get our hands dirty.” 

Joanna Valente

Joanna Valente is the Editorial Assistant at Kveller. She is the author of Sirs & Madams The Gods Are Dead, and Marys of the Sea (forthcoming), and received her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. You can follow her @joannasaid on Twitter, @joannacvalente on Instagram, or email her at

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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