Fighting for Women's Rights and Health
We must support efforts to ensure that there is equal pay for equal work. All Americans must be treated fairly and paid equally, regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation.
Yet women only earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns. For an African American woman, it is only 63 cents on the dollar. We must take action to end this wage gap. As Congressman, I would vote to enact the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would break the harmful patterns of pay discrimination and strengthen workplace protections for women.
As an educator in the rural town of Helena, I have seen firsthand the devastating consequences that the lack of family planning services has on young women and their families. Without these services, it becomes more difficult for women to find and keep employment or to finish their high school and college educations.
Our district, despite spanning 17,000 square miles, does not have any clinics that provide women with the full range of health services. This means that women must travel long distances to obtain the health services that they deserve. For some women, particularly those in difficult economic situations, it means that it is practically impossible to get the treatments that they otherwise have a right to.
This is unacceptable. All women, regardless of income or background, should have access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare, which includes cost-free contraception to reduce unintended pregnancies, life-saving preventative care services such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, and safe and legal abortion services.
The decision to end an unwanted pregnancy is a terribly difficult decision. We must ensure that women have the health resources and family planning services necessary to minimize it. But, ultimately, these decisions must be made between a woman and her doctor, and not by some Washington politician thousands of miles away.
We must not return to the days when women had to risk their lives in order to receive the health services that they deserve and to which they have a legal right.