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Issue Position: Women's Issues

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Economic Security

Women earn an average of only 77 cents for every dollar men earn. Women are far more likely to be struggling financially, and much more likely to live in poverty. In the Senate, John Marty has been a strong, consistent advocate for pay equity, and an outspoken leader in the fight for economic justice.

John has authored legislation to fully fund sliding-fee childcare, to raise the minimum wage to $9.50/hour, and to double the earned income tax credit to help low income workers get a living wage. He has been a consistent advocate for progressive taxes, and he is the architect and author of the single-payer Minnesota Health Plan -- providing comprehensive health care to all, regardless of employment status.

Choice

John Marty firmly stands behind women supporting their right to reproductive choice. Over the years, John has repeatedly worked to protect women's access to comprehensive medical care and is the chief author of legislation that would provide comprehensive sexuality education and access to family planning services statewide.

The abstinence-only sexuality education curriculum in many schools has left many teens with little to no knowledge of contraception and relationship decision-making. The consequence has been a large number of teen pregnancies, and high levels of sexually transmitted infections.

A woman's right to choose is not limited to safe access to abortion, but includes access to birth control, prenatal care and maternity care. John believes in empowering women and men with comprehensive sexuality education that promotes healthy choices.

Family planning and comprehensive sexuality education programs would reduce the number of abortions far more than all the restrictions enacted by abortion opponents in the past thirty years.

In the Senate, John Marty will continue to work for this legislation and reduce the number of abortions in Minnesota, not by limiting access, but by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and giving pregnant women the ability to support a child without living in poverty. John's preventive approach would also greatly reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections, and reduce welfare and human service costs to both state and county taxpayers.

Domestic Violence

Each year, for about 30 Minnesota women and children, domestic violence is fatal. About 800 more are hospitalized. Think of the families missing a daughter or a grandchild -- thirty people killed every year and countless others living in fear and pain.

John Marty believes that all people have the right to live without fear or threats of violence. Domestic violence is an unfortunate reality that must be openly discussed to end the cycle of violence. Many abusers were victims of abuse themselves and few abusers receive any intervention or counseling, leading to new generations of abuse. Ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away. The continuous cycle must be stopped through education, therapy and enforcement.

Domestic violence programs exist to help women escape these toxic environments, but they are desperately short of funding, and many counties have few if any services. By investing in these valuable programs, we will not only save lives, but we will significantly reduce law enforcement, court, and prison costs.

In the Senate, John Marty will continue to work for full funding of domestic violence programs and services so that women in every community have access to help. To see a recent column from John on the failure to prevent domestic violence, click here.

Equality and MNCAFE

John Marty supports prompt passage of a Minnesota constitutional amendment to guarantee equal rights to all, regardless of gender. The legislation has been introduced by Senator Dick Cohen during every legislative session for over 25 years. This year his legislation is backed by a large statewide coalition of people pushing for the Constitutional Amendment for Equality (C.A.F.E.).

Upon introduction of the legislation this year, Senator Marty issued the following statement:

"It's time to pass the state equal rights amendment. We are long overdue in guaranteeing equal rights to women in the Minnesota Constitution.

The public is more than ready for this. In fact, most people believe that such an amendment already was adopted thirty years ago. Back then, for some people, equal rights for women was a controversial idea. Now, times have changed, and people understand that women deserve equal rights under the constitution.

For those who say this isn't a priority when the state is struggling with the recession, it's time to point out that women earn an average of only 3/4ths as much as men. In times of economic hardship, it is more important than ever to address this discrimination.

Equality for women is long overdue. We are already ten years into the new millennium. It is time for legislative leaders to push for passage of the Constitutional Amendment for Equality (C.A.F.E.)."


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