America succeeds when women succeed, and we must guarantee that all women are treated fairly in our country. That’s why I am fighting to close the wage gap between men and women, address the challenges faced by women in the workforce, defend women’s access to affordable healthcare, combat the scourge of violence against women, and guarantee that the rights of women to make their own medical decisions will not be abridged.
Even as our country has made major strides toward gender equality, women continue to earn a fraction of what their male coworkers earn for the same jobs. In the 8th Congressional District, which faces a narrower wage gap than much of the country, women still only earn roughly 83 cents for every dollar their male colleagues do. Even beyond the pay gap, women in the workforce disproportionately bear the burden of the lack of access to quality, affordable child care, and paid family leave. Addressing these challenges will demand a range of policies, but I will continue to fight to eliminate the gender wage gap while expanding access to paid leave and quality affordable childcare for every family.
As a Member of Congress, I will fight to preserve and expand women’s access to quality healthcare. I oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act for many reasons, but a significant one is that turning the clock back to the time before the law existed would dramatically reduce women’s access to healthcare while increasing the cost of their premiums. Prior to the ACA, being a woman was effectively at times regarded as its own pre-existing condition, as women were denied insurance for having had breast cancer or a C-section, and even for being a survivor of sexual or domestic abuse. Those women who were able to find coverage on the open market were charged much higher premiums than men simply for being women. The Affordable Care Act eliminated these obstacles for women while also guaranteeing coverage for birth control and preventative care including mammograms and other cancer screenings. I will continue to defend the Affordable Care Act and these vital provisions for women.
Planned Parenthood remains a leading provider of quality, affordable health care for millions of women across our nation, including in underserved communities. I will fight to preserve public funding for Planned Parenthood and with it, access to vital preventative health and family planning services. As a proud member of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, I am dedicated to defending the constitutional right to choose and for women to be able to do so without facing an undue burden.
Domestic and sexual violence are plagues on our society and must be addressed and reduced in every area of American life. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) helps survivors of domestic violence, addresses its root causes, and provides resources to bring its perpetrators to justice. While we must continue to strengthen and adapt the law to address evolving challenges, I am committed to strengthening VAWA and its core mission of keeping women and families safe.
In recent years, public acknowledgment and recognition of the issue of sexual violence on college campuses has grown exponentially. We must increase the support provided to survivors and work to guarantee that abusers face justice, but we must also utilize the unique educational environment of college campuses to build a broader awareness of our shared responsibility as a society to end sexual violence.
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Today we celebrate the achievements women and girls have won through their own courage, intelligence, dedication, and strength. A single day is not enough to commemorate the struggles and accomplishments of women, or those still ahead, but International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month draw the spotlight to the fight for equality, and justice.
CHICAGO, IL – Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi today addressed a crowd of at least 150,000 people at the Chicago Women's March, urging women and all Americans to stand up and fight for their rights.
After the march, Congressman Krishnamoorthi issued the following statement: