Advocating for Women [Final]
Planned Parenthood provides essential health care services to 2.7 million women, men and young people nationwide, the majority of whom are low-income or live in areas where health care is underserved. or many people, Planned Parenthood is their main or only source of primary care. Nearly four out of ten individuals who received health care services from Planned Parenthood report this constitutes their only health care. Particularly in rural areas, there may not be another option. Millions of women also rely on the agency’s other array of services, including those for cancer prevention and testing for sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS.
I am unequivocally pro-choice and believe Congress must stop its attacks on the agency like the Defund Planned Parenthood Act (H.R. 354). Last year, Cong. John Faso (19th CD) voted with the Republican majority for a permanent ban on the use of federal funds for abortion or health coverage that includes abortion.
Free Birth Control under Insurance
We need to restore the Obama-era rule requiring workplace health insurance to provide birth control free of charge. Fulfilling a campaign promise to religious supporters, President Trump has rolled back this rule requiring employer-provided health insurance policies to cover birth control methods at no cost to women. Although the purported goal of the rule reversal was to allow any company or nonprofit group to exclude contraception coverage based on religious or moral objections, many health policy analysts say the new rule creates a huge loophole that will now allow any employer to claim an exemption, leaving their female workers to pay the full cost of birth control out of pocket.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
All women deserve to receive the same pay as their male counterparts. Despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act more than 50 years ago under President John F. Kennedy, women still do not earn wages equal to those of their male peers. It is wrong that women working full-time only earn 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. And, we need to make sure we are advocating for all women. Black women are paid just 64 cents, and Latina women earn 56 cents, for every dollar earned by white men. I advocate for legislation like the Paycheck Fairness Act that was introduced in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. This Act would put the burden of justification on employers to explain why someone was not compensated equally. It would also provide funds to start programs that train women in workplace negotiation.