Women's rights are currently under attack in the U.S. Congress, with recent votes to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and other vital women's health services. In addition, right-wing members of Congress want to place added tax burdens on women who want -- and deserve to be able -- to buy insurance with comprehensive women's health coverage.
This political climate means we need strong leaders to fight to protect women's reproductive rights. If I am elected to Congress, I will be a strong leader, just as I was during my 14 years in the California State Legislature.
I believe strongly in women's reproductive freedom. A woman must have the right to make choices about reproduction, in consultation with her doctor and, if she desires, her religious advisors, family, and, ultimately, her own conscience -- without government interference. Government has no business in our bedrooms!
Family planning and reproductive health is a medical cost, just like any other medical cost. I was astonished to discover that many insurance companies would pay for the cost of drugs to treat erectile dysfunction -- but not for prescription birth control. I supported and fought for passage of California's law that requires insurance companies to provide coverage for family planning and reproductive health.
Appropriate reproductive health care goes far beyond the benefits to a pregnant mother. Children born to moms who did not have access to health care can start life with hardships that could have been avoided -- as well as being saddled with direct costs in dollars and cents.
Finally, I will oppose restrictions on the inclusion of family planning and reproductive health expenditures as part of foreign aid. It is counterproductive, shortsighted, and it imperils the health of women and children around the globe.