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Protecting America's Women


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Vow for VAWA
For nearly two decades, the Violence Against Women Act has brought domestic violence out of the shadows, protected women and children from harm, and saved lives. This week, House Democrats introduced the Violence Against Women Act of 2013 and vowed to work towards the swift passage of this critical legislation. The bill strengthens the abilities of the federal government, states, law enforcement, and service providers to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Failure to enact the bill would deprive women and children of vital protection against abuse and law enforcement of essential tools to combat domestic violence. Congress must act now.

New Opportunities for Women in the Military
For decades, women have made extraordinary contributions to our security, our national defense, and our military's missions overseas; now, women will be able to build on that legacy of achievement and sacrifice on the front lines of battle. On Thursday, Leon Panetta announced that the Defense Department would lift the ban on women serving in combat. The announcement marks a significant step forward for equality in our nation, for the strength of our military, and for any woman willing and able to serve in the United States Armed Forces.

This decision is long overdue. It ensures that our leaders on the battlefield judge the soldiers in their command based on merit, not gender -- on their ability to do the job and defend our country, and nothing else. Alongside the repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, it reflects the Obama Administration's commitment to progress for our troops, removing yet another discriminatory barrier to service for the brave men and women ready to put their lives on the line on behalf of our safety and security.

Forty Years of Roe v. Wade
Forty years ago, the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade established fundamental principles in American life and society: that reproductive freedom must be protected; that the right to privacy must be preserved; and that a woman's health decisions must be her own, in consultation with her family, her physician, and her faith.

On this anniversary, as I have since my first days in Congress, I will continue to lead the effort to defend reproductive choice and work toward a comprehensive approach to reproductive health care, so we can reduce the number of unintended pregnancies at home and around the world. I hope to work with all of my colleagues to build on the legacy of Roe v. Wade and protect the rights of women across our country.

Please feel free to forward this information to your family and friends. To learn more about these efforts, to express your views, or to sign up for email updates, please visit my website. I am also on Twitter at

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