Today at a rally with President Barack Obama at George Mason University in Fairfax, Tim Kaine gave a forceful defense of policies that increase access to health care and economic opportunity for Virginia women. At the event, Kaine recalled that in a debate in Northern Virginia, his opponent George Allen was asked about women's issues and dismissed them as just social issues.
"I gotta tell you as a husband and father, I know that what we're referring to aren't just "women's issues' or "social issues,' they're family issues and they're economic issues," said Kaine at the rally. "Legislation ensuring equal pay for equal work, the first piece of legislation this president signed--that's a family issue, I support this legislation and my opponent doesn't. Family and Medical Leave Act--that's a family and economic issue. I support it, my opponent called it burdensome and counterproductive."
George Allen voted against the Family and Medical Leave Act multiple times in Congress and throughout the course of this campaign has refused to support equal pay measures like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Kaine also highlighted the importance of access to preventive health care for women and affirmed his strong support of free preventive care in insurance plans that includes contraception and cancer screenings. George Allen has vocally opposed the contraception mandate in insurance plans, vowed to lobby for a 34th vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act that includes guaranteed preventive coverage, supported the Blunt amendment that allows employers to deny preventive coverage to employees, and promised to introduce a federal personhood amendment that could jeopardize access to some types of FDA-approved birth control.
"Access to preventable, to affordable health care, to FDA-approved birth control, to preventive care like cancer screenings--those are family, health, and economic issues. President Obama and I support these strongly and will fight for them. Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and my opponent oppose these issues. And that's, that's what this choice in this election comes down to. We have a choice," Kaine said in Fairfax. "You know, women are more than half the economy...these are not just little social issues we're talking about. They're not just little women's issues we're talking about. Women are more than half the economy. If we don't embrace policies that empower women, we harm the economy. When we embrace and accelerate policies that enable women to succeed, we help the economy."