With the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, we face the most serious threat in decades to women’s reproductive freedom. Abortion is health care. To deny that right is to deny fundamental human rights. I believe that gender equality does not exist without bodily autonomy. Women should be able to make the family planning decisions that work best for them and their families. They should also have the full range of reproductive health choices available to them. Access to safe and legal abortion enables people to make the decisions that are right for them.
I have long been a supporter of the economic empowerment of women. Working women make up almost half of the American labor force; yet, in 2020, women earned only 84% of what men earned. Women must be able to make their own economic decisions, including whether and when to have children, and then have the capacity to balance work and family. This delicate balance is possible only with affordable child care, workplace flexibility, paid family and medical leave, and reliable health care. Today, the United States is one of only two nations that does not guarantee paid parental leave. It is past time to give working women and families this critical tool.