Women's issues are important to our district and my work in Congress.
Since I started in Congress, I have been dedicated to being a staunch advocate for women. I am an ardent supporter of women’s health needs, reproductive freedom, and family planning. I have received consistently high ratings from women’s organizations like Planned Parenthood, National Organization for Women, and American Association of University Women.
I believe that there exists a fundamental constitutional right to choose whether or not to have a child, and have worked throughout my career to protect the right to choose. I believe that the decision to have a child should be made by a woman, her family, and her doctor, and not by me or any other politician.
Abortions in this country should be safe, legal and rare, and policy makers should do all we can to limit the number of unintended pregnancies and also to ensure that pregnant women and their children have access to quality health care. I have and will continue to support policies that promote comprehensive sex education, medically accurate family planning information, and access to affordable birth control to limit unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion.
I recognize the importance of making comprehensive family planning resources available to those who need them. I support legislation that would increase funding for the national family planning program, end insurance company discrimination against contraceptives, ensure that victims of rape receive accurate information about and access to emergency contraception, increase spending to reduce teen pregnancy, and fund honest, realistic sex-education programs.
Women’s Health Care
Recently, I voted against H.R.3, misleadingly named the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”, because it launches an unprecedented attack on women’s health care, and I oppose those efforts. Interfering with women’s access to health care and the American privilege to obtain affordable health care coverage is reckless, and I will continue to oppose efforts that compromise access to quality and affordable health care.
In addition to voting against H.R. 3, I continue to support various measures to improve women’s health care. Some of these measures include the HEART for Women Act, which aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases in women and the Newborn, Child and Mother Survival Act, which combats the unnecessarily high mother, infant, and child mortality rates in developing countries.
Fairness in the Workplace
It has been almost fifty years since the Equal Pay Act became law, ending gender based pay discrimination in the workplace. However, several loopholes and discriminatory practices regarding pay still exist today. While there have been gains in closing the pay gap, women in the United States are still only paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, and the numbers are worse for women of color.
I was proud to be an original co-sponsor and vote for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This bill, which was signed into law by President Obama, provides protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers and creates legal options to protect those rights. I was also an original co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act. This bill will strengthen the Equal Pay Act and close the loopholes that have allowed employers to avoid responsibility for discriminatory pay.