Throughout my career I have been proud to stand up for women's rights - whether the issues are on the job, in the courts, or in the doctor's office. On Beacon Hill, I was a leading voice on victims' rights and I authored legislation to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In Congress, I'll stand strong on every issue because it's the right thing to do, for women across the district, for my mother, wife and daughter, and for all of our families.
When I look at my daughter Isabel, she inspires me to work every day to ensure that she has a future full of hope and opportunity. I believe strongly that includes equal pay for equal work because that is what she, and all women, deserve.
No woman in America should be struggling to get equal pay for equal work. President Obama made this a priority as his first executive order in office, and it is at the top of my agenda as well. It is unacceptable that women continue to be paid less than their male counterparts for equal work. Nationally, in today's market women earn 77 cents on the dollar. In Massachusetts, the gap is closer to 81 cents, however still grossly lower then men. Some say the gap will close on its own, but I feel we cannot wait. Not just for those women earning today, but for the future generations of girls who will be the earning women of tomorrow.
If voted into Congress, I will work tirelessly to protect the reproductive rights of women, work to expand women's health services in all communities and end discrimination and inequality in access to these services.
Women should not have barriers to making decisions about their bodies and their health. This includes and should go beyond a discussion of birth control and abortion. Women's health includes access to comprehensive sex education, affordable family health care, pre-and post-natal care, and important preventive testing such as mammograms and Pap smears. We must also ensure that all women, despite age, socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity, have access to these important services. That is why protecting funding for Planned Parenthood and reproductive health organizations is so important.
These are basic issues of fairness. Women must be given opportunities to succeed on the same level playing field as men in all areas. It's an issue I have believed in, fought for and will continue to do so for the duration of my tenure in public life.