Economic and reproductive rights are areas of concern for many women in Wisconsin. Over the past several years, we have seen women’s rights eroded in our state. This includes when my opponent made the statement that Wisconsin wouldn’t need early childhood programs if women would just quit working and stay home to take care of their own children. This statement is not only insulting and demeaning, but it denies the uphill battle that many women in rural Wisconsin face.
Since the Walker administration’s takeover of Wisconsin government, we have seen a wide range of economic injustice issues affecting women. This includes the repeal of the law making it easier for women experiencing pay disparity to sue their employers for discrimination. I will work to overturn this law, thus bringing back economic fairness. It is neither fair nor acceptable that women earn $0.79 for every dollar men earn for the same work.
I will fight for equal pay.
This not only benefits individual women and their families, but it brings much-needed money into communities, helping to sustain them.
Reproductive rights are less issues of lifestyle and choice as they are issues of life and death for women. As a registered nurse, I have witnessed the need for women to have control over this most personal matter.
I fully support any woman’s access to safe and legal abortion, to effective birth control and emergency contraception, to reproductive health services, and honest and appropriate health education. I have been open and honest about my opposition to attempts to restrict these rights through legislation, regulation, or Constitutional amendment.
When I was a child, I watched women like my mother fight against the same type of ignorance and condescension we see today from anti-women politicians like my opponent. These women demanded the right to determine their own futures, the right to decide for themselves whether and when to have children, and the right to equal treatment under the law. They won many of these challenges, and women of today have benefited.
Sadly, we now find ourselves fighting these very same fights, again, here in Wisconsin. Nobody decides to terminate a pregnancy without a great deal of thought and consideration. Yet, we find ourselves having to explain over and over again, the medical necessity for safe, legal, and affordable abortion care. It is imperative for those in power to understand that all women have a fundamental right to autonomy over their bodies. I understand this right and will continue to support women’s access to it.
It is also time for a new approach to combating violence against women.
There are many interrelated parts to the issue, including domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, violence at abortion clinics, and hate crimes that cross lines of gender, sexuality and race. We have a gender bias in our judicial system that further victimizes survivors of violence, and the violence inherent in poverty is underscored by this administration’s attacks on poor women and children, including drug testing people receiving food assistance or unemployment.
Our land. Our kids. Our future. Let me be our representative!