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Posts Tagged ‘Women’s Issues’

The morning after the inauguration of the least popular incoming president in modern history, millions boarded all manner of transportation to head to their nearest (or dearest) Women’s March. Many flew or took trains or buses to Washington, DC for the march there. Others went to cities near them.

The numbers are not in yet but there are estimates – almost all of which exceeded expectations.  Washington, DC expected 200,000. Estimates are that a half a million showed up. In New York City, the crowd was so large that for hours the march could not move appreciably for lack of space. The same thing happened in Chicago where organizers transformed the march into a rally – no space for people to march! Reports are that the same thing occurred in Los Angeles.

Portland ME police estimated this to be the largest demonstration they had ever encountered. Boston organizers think 150,000 attended there. People tweeted pictures of crowds in Denver, Nashville, Asheville, Atlanta, Sioux City, Phoenix, of a human chain across the Golden Gate Bridge. Across the nation they marched – in the rain in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and in the snow in Boise and Anchorage.

There were marches and demonstrations in all 50 states and on every continent, including Antarctica. Look at this map!
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Here are a few of my favorite images from the day starting with a sea of pink pussyhats in the nation’s capital.

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Paris put its message in lights.

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The Brits displayed their characteristic reserve. They had the best signs.

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My favorite Brit marched and spoke in New York and declared herself a New Yorker.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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Helen Mirren posted “this is amazing!” (Instagram / @helenmirren

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A human traffic jam in Los Angeles.

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A human chain across the Golden Gate Bridge.

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In blinding snow in Anchorage.

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In Boise.

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Antarctica!

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Some awesome folks!

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They weren’t all Democrats!  Ana Navarro posted this selfie!womens_march-01-21-17-15

A note from a flight attendant who had to work to a passenger who was attending.

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The human traffic jam on NY’s 5th Avenue that lasted for hours.

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In Detroit.

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New York City.womens_march-01-21-17-19

This woman tweeted that she wasn’t ovary-acting.

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 How bad is it?
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One guy we know brought his best friend along for his first day as a private citizen.

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His predecessor tweeted her support.

Thanks for standing, speaking & marching for our values . Important as ever. I truly believe we’re always Stronger Together.

‘Hope Not Fear’ Indeed. And what a beautiful piece by Louisa Cannell. 👊👊🏻👊🏼👊🏽✨

I stand w/ Nora Harren, a 17-year from Boise, ID, & every person marching for our values today. Onward! ✊✊🏾✊🏽✨

There are many more wonderful images of the day here and here.

Here is a report on estimated numbers and the size and scope. These numbers are expected to be revised upwards.

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On the sidelines, this day, Donald Trump attended the National Prayer Breakfast and visited CIA HQ in Langley, VA to tell them what a yuge inauguration he had (it looked like a million – a million-and-a-half people to the guy who saw imaginary thousands in Jersey City celebrating the fall of the towers) and how spectacular the weather had been (it rained – George W. Bush struggled with a plastic poncho).  Later his Press Sec stormed into the White House press room to scold the media for telling the truth about the paltry attendance yesterday. He said this was the largest inauguration ever. Period. He took no questions and left in a huff.

The rest of the country and the free world was busy having a lovely Saturday all together.  No incidents, no arrests, and according to actress Ally Sheedy, a patrol officer told her how wonderful everyone looked.  Madonna dropped the F-bomb twice and they cheered. Everyone was included – babies in strollers and seniors in wheelchairs. It was a great day in history!

Oh! And THIS!

 

Crossposted at The Department of Homegirl Security.

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Hillary Clinton with her daughter Chelsea in 1984.Mike Stewart — Sygma via Getty Images

We’ve made progress, but have a ways to go.

When I was pregnant with my daughter Chelsea, I asked about the maternity leave policy at the law firm where I worked. I was surprised to find out that we didn’t have one. I soon learned why: No woman who worked in our office had ever come back to work full-time after having a baby.

Well, I wanted to come back. I loved what I did. And it was important to me to contribute to my family’s finances, especially now that we were having a baby.

Finally, as my due date approached, I decided to take matters into my own hands. When Chelsea was born, my employer agreed to grant me four months off to be home with her. I’d still earn an income, though it would be smaller; part of my income was determined by the fees I generated for the firm, which would fall to zero while I was on leave. That made sense to me. And it meant a lot that I could have that time with my new daughter, knowing that my job would be waiting for me when I came back.

These kinds of situations are commonplace today, with more women entering the workforce than ever before. Today, nearly half of all full-time employees are women. Through our contributions, talent, insights, and very presence, we’ve changed the workplace forever. There’s no going back to the days when women were fired for getting married or pregnant, or were excluded from entire professions. Thank goodness.

Bill and Hillary with their daughter Chelsea in 1980.Courtesy of Hillary for America

But let’s be real. We still have a long way to go. Our policies just haven’t kept up with the challenges women and families face today.

Too many women still aren’t paid fairly. On average, women earn 20% less than men do for full-time, year-round work. Women of color earn even less. And when a working mom or grandmother earns less than she deserves, she’s not the only one who pays the price. Her children or grandchildren — whoever’s counting on her salary — do, too.

Women also make up the majority of minimum-wage workers, which means they make as little as $14,500 a year for full-time work. That’s below the national poverty line. Many of those women are raising kids on that income. Raising the federal minimum wage would do a lot for those families.

Meanwhile, even though the number of women running companies, labs, universities, and philanthropies is growing, it’s still too small. So is the number of women serving in elected office. That means women aren’t always included in decision-making, and their needs and concerns aren’t always reflected in government policy or workplace norms.

And we’re making it too hard to balance work and family. That’s true for all parents, but especially mothers. Women are breadwinners in more households than ever, yet they still do the lion’s share of childcare.

Many are feeling the squeeze. I’ve had moms break down in tears as they describe the heartbreak of returning to work just a few days after delivering their baby, because they don’t have paid leave at their jobs. Staying with their child for a few months would mean losing too many paychecks, maybe even their job.

In April, I met a mom in Newton, Iowa, who held her four-and-a-half-month-old in her arms. She said to me, “I’m counting on you to know what it’s like to be a working mother. Please help us working mothers and fathers have more time with our babies.”

I’m not going to let her down.

One thing we can do is invest in affordable childcare. Right now, childcare is more expensive than college tuition in many states. Let’s make sure no family has to spend more than 10% of their income on childcare by making historic investments in childcare assistance and providing tax relief to working families.

Let’s finally join every other advanced economy in the world and guarantee paid leave. I’m proposing 12 weeks of paid medical leave to recover from a serious illness, and 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a new child or a sick relative. After all, moms and dads both deserve to spend time with their babies.

Let’s encourage employers to adopt family-friendly work policies, like flexible and fair scheduling and tele-work, so parents can both work and be there for their families.

Let’s raise the minimum wage. No one who works full-time should be forced to raise their kids in poverty.

And at long last, let’s finally ensure equal pay for women. It’s time for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act — which I cosponsored when I was in the Senate — to give women the tools they need to fight discrimination in the workforce. We also need to promote pay transparency so that women have the information they need to negotiate fairly for their wages.

These aren’t just women’s issues. They’re economic issues and family issues. And they need to be a top priority for our next president. If we’re going to build a globally competitive workforce, we can’t afford to leave any talent on the sidelines. We can’t keep short-changing working families.

I’ll never forget what it was like to be a mom at work. It wasn’t easy. And I was lucky: I had financial security, a supportive employer, and affordable childcare. Too many families don’t. I’ve met so many parents stuck in impossible situations, at their wits’ ends trying to make it all work. It just shouldn’t be this hard to work and have a family.

As president, it’ll be my mission to bring our economy and workplaces into the 21st century, so all of our contributions are respected — both women’s and men’s — and families can thrive.

Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for president and a former secretary of state.

Respond to Hillary here >>>>

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Hillary Clinton’s Full Statement on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt:

The Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is a victory for women across America. By striking down politically motivated restrictions that made it nearly impossible for Texans to exercise their full reproductive rights, the Court upheld every woman’s right to safe, legal abortion, no matter where she lives.I applaud everyone who flooded the Texas Capitol to speak out against these attacks on women’s health, the brave women and men across the country who shared their stories, and the health care providers who fought for their patients and refused to give up.

Our fight is far from over. In Texas and across the country, a woman’s constitutional right to make her own health decisions is  under attack. In the first three months of 2016, states introduced more than 400 measures restricting access to abortion. We’ve seen a concerted, persistent attack on women’s health and rights at the federal level. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has said women should be punished for having abortions.  He also pledged to defund Planned Parenthood and appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Today’s decision is a reminder of how much is at stake in this election. We need a President who will defend women’s health and rights and appoint Supreme Court justices who recognize Roe v. Wade as settled law. We must continue to protect access to safe and legal abortion – not just on paper, but in reality.

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This must read  is addressed to her Wellesley sisters by a Wellesley grad, but I see it as having a broader scope. Here is why.

Although I appreciated all of the work that my predecessors had done for me and my generation of women, I did not fully comprehend the extent of what they had gone through in order to lift me up onto their shoulders so that I might see further and reach higher than they were ever permitted. I also did not appreciate how incredibly dangerous it is for women to live in a world where sexism is alive and well, but people believe it to be dead. When people believe sexism to be dead, they become less vigilant about losing all of the gains we have made towards equality. When people believe sexism to be dead, women who are victims are made out to be liars. When people believe sexism to be dead just because it has become more subtle, women, like myself in those taxi rides, become silenced.

Esther Jang has authored a persuasive essay that Hillary supporters may find useful in speaking to women of any age, but especially the young,  who are either Bernie supporters or are fence sitters  – the “I-don’t-know girls.”  No matter who we are or how old, we all stand on shoulders of giants.

For women in particular, as we are about to embark on Women’s History Month, a visit to the struggles of the past is more than useful and instructive.  It is essential.  As Esther Jang points out, there is deadly danger in the assumption that the work is  complete.

One issue, recently, that highlights the urgency of a Hillary vote: Zika.  When the Pope says OK to birth control, you have to know that we are dealing with a crisis of potentially monumental proportions.

In case you missed it last night, this.

Add Zika to the equation.  News flash to young women:  It is not your moms, aunts, and grandmas whose future is threatened by this crisis.  It is yours.

One candidate has fought all of her adult life for women’s rights.  One candidate is experienced, qualified, and equipped to deal with this crisis as it grows.

Nothing is a done deal. The struggle remains.  Esther Jang provides reasons to be on the right side – no matter whether or where you studied, hope to study, or what you do or plan to do.  Please read this and share it widely – broadly, even!

 

When standing on shoulders of giants, please consider…

Dear Wellesley sisters,

A few weeks ago, I got into a taxi and started chatting with my driver about politics. He asked me who I would be voting for, and when I replied, “Hillary,” his immediate reaction was, “Is it just because she’s a woman?” I wanted to say to him, “Are you supporting ____ just because you both have dicks?” but I refrained and continued my ride in silence.

A few weeks before that, I got into a taxi and my driver asked me what I did. When I told him that I worked for Venmo, his immediate reaction was, “You do UX or Design, right?” I wanted to say to him, “No. Also, our Head of Engineering is a woman,” but again, I refrained and continued my ride in silence.

Now that I have lived a handful of years outside of Wellesley, I find myself being silenced by the sheer exhaustion of having to deal with this type of subtle sexism every day.

Read more >>>>

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Saying “some woman some day”  is a cop out.  There has never in our history been a candidate like this one.  This woman. NOW!

Parenthetically: (Let’s dispense with the notion that propaganda is, by definition, false and/or negative. There are many models of propaganda and a long history. The epistemic model assigns no positive/negative valences.  This post, by the epistemic definition, is propaganda.  It is intended to persuade.)

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Please join Hillary in helping the Flint Child Health & Development Fund if you can >>>>

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It is the media.  It is not the mainstream media, and it is not some post-hip sobriquet like the lamestream media which, face it, along with Repugnican, wingnut, Freeper, Faux News, and a host of other tired old terms has passed its hour to be purged from the language.  It is the media’s job to report.  As citizens, our job is to communicate among ourselves on what and how they report, which is another reason to avoid slangy terms.  There is nothing hip or particularly communicative about acting like teens speaking in adult-proof code.

Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.”  All of the media, these days, seem to be sending one message which, so far, only theSkimm has actually articulated.

 

theSkimm makes it easier to be smarter.

We’re the daily e-mail newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day. We do the reading for you – across subject lines and party lines – and break it down with fresh editorial content.

We read. You Skimm.

The idea is arguable, no laughable, that consuming what has been read and broken down for you makes you smarter.  At least theSkimm comes out and says it has put your veggies in a KitchenAid with apples, pears, and high fructose corn syrup.  All of the media do it, and it is a little like reading Lamb’s Tales but not as elegant or as much fun.  At its worst, it leaves huge information gaps that abound among the electorate and presents an exercise in frustration for those who prefer their asparagus and brussels sprouts whole and unadulterated.

There was a time, in the early days of this blog,  so,  not that distant in the past, when I could go to media sources and find an entire interview to post.  Today, a mere seven plus years into this work, all I can find are media bytes.  Little 1.5 – 3.5 minute spoonsful.  As theSkimm unabashedly tells you,  it is all cut up and pre-chewed for you – like baby food.  Unfortunately, they are the only ones telling you that,  leaving the impression that you are getting the whole story from other sources, but that is not the case.  Most of what you find today is Gerber’s in another guise, and it no longer seems to matter whence the source – there no longer is a mainstream.  The media has achieved true social, if not economic, democracy.

When I posted, two days ago, about Fareed Zakaria’s stroke of genius in dividing his interview with Helen Mirren in two and asking her how she would portray Hillary Clinton, I gave credit where it was not due.  That was not Fareed’s fault entirely, although he did supply the mini-clip of the conversation.  Throughout yesterday, additional stories about Dame Helen’s remarks arose, and I added one of those to that post.  Nothing I read or posted prepared me for the whole, real story.  Nothing rectified my initial misconception.

Who, then, had the brainstorm and should have received the credit?  It was not the interviewer.  It was Dame Helen herself who brought up the subject of Hillary Clinton, along with her own appetite to play that role should a script appear.   She did insert a disclaimer that there was some self-interest,  but that was not really why the subject came up.  The topic was roles for women on stage and screen.

Dame Helen has long been an advocate for broader, deeper, more complex longitudinal portrayals of women in drama.  In an age when sustainability is a buzzword and even, somehow, an area of academic pursuit, female actors have less sustainable careers than their male counterparts, and, as Mirren points out, ever has it been so.  The Bard did not provide much in the way of roles for mature women which is why Mirren portrayed Prospero as Prospera in Julie Taymor’s fantastic production of The Tempest.  It is a matter of taking on and refitting the male roles for the mature woman.  She stopped short of suggesting she would ever play Lear.  Here is how Hillary and 2016 actually entered the conversation.

ZAKARIA: Over the span of a 50-year career in acting, Helen Mirren has done a lot of things. She has done everything from high Shakespearian theater to the scandalous 70s film of “Caligula,” played everything from a queen to a Mossad agent, and won everything from an Oscar to a Tony to an Emmy. But the one thing she has never played is a Bond girl. Is she bitter? Not Dame Helen.

ZAKARIA: You said we’ve all sat and watched as James Bond has become more and more geriatric. While his girlfriends —

HELEN MIRREN, ACTRESS: Get younger and younger. That was the case for a while, wasn’t it? I mean, it was like embarrassing. I thought it was ridiculous.

ZAKARIA: But do you think it’s — is it a big problem in Hollywood that men get cast for roles well into their 60s and 70s, and for women it’s more of a struggle?

MIRREN: It is more of a struggle. But even Shakespeare did that to us, you know. As you get older, even the Shakespeare roles become — that’s why we have to start stealing the men’s roles, you know. Doing like I did “The Tempest,” Prospero. And it’s great that a lot of women are, you know, doing Hamlet, doing “Henry V.” I’m a sure there will be a female Othello soon. And I love that. I think it’s absolutely great. Because, why not.

Video >>>>

But it’s changing. I’ve always said, don’t worry about roles in drama — well, do — moan and complain, and I do. But really spend your energies on changing roles for women in real life, because, as night follows day, as the roles for women in real life change, they will change in drama. And I really hope that we’re going to see a female president in the next — when are the elections?

ZAKARIA: 2016.

MIRREN: 2016. Oh, not till then. A while. Oh, next year! So I hope we see a female president next year. That would be absolutely fantastic, and that would make a huge difference to the understanding of what women can be.

ZAKARIA: Do you think you could pull off the accent for Hillary Clinton?

MIRREN: She would be a wonderful person to play. Somewhere down the line, someone will do a story. Because she has had — well, it was an extraordinary trajectory, and the brilliance, brilliance at handling her world.

helen-mirren-honored-hollywood-walk-of-fame-03And what unbelievable challenges she’s had over the years.

ZAKARIA: If you were to compare the two, the queen and Hillary, what is the defining character of Hillary Clinton that you, as somebody playing her, imagine to be playing her, what would you be trying to capture?

Video >>>>

MIRREN: That’s a very interesting question. I mean, the enormous intelligence, the brain that I think is very, very, very fast-moving. And I think the incredible tenacity. The queen of — Elizabeth Windsor, I call her, is — it’s a different — hers is I just — put my head down, I do what I’m supposed to do, I do it as well as I can, and I don’t argue, and I don’t complain, and I just do it. Hillary is much fiercer than that. It’s, you know, she is a lioness of a kind. A lioness. And the — Elizabeth Windsor is not, you know. I don’t know what animal she is. I’ll have to think about that one.

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No run up to this interview prepared me for Dame Helen being the one who brought up Hillary and the election.  Everything that was out there – and ended up in the earlier post – led me to think it all Fareed’s idea.  These two videos are all that CNN offers.  Not the entire interview.  Only these.  Important content has been skipped,

The real story was much deeper than an interviewer with a campaign cycle agenda.  It was a woman  with a much bigger agenda, changing the roles of women in the world.

Why did I not know that this was Helen’s subject to raise?  Because of the piecemeal nature of reportage.  The story was cherry-picked for me by the host and by those who wrote about the interview in advance having seen it in advance.  This was not at all about a smart anchor raising a brilliant question, as the promos had me believe.  It was about a brilliant female leader perceiving the value of expanding the roles of women in general and, as an example and role model, promoting one brilliant woman in particular.

Why was that not the message we all received as we looked forward to this interview?  Because the media adulterated it, masticated and strained it for our consumption, just like baby food, and all the good stuff stayed in the strainer and went into the compost bin.

This was less about Helen Mirren wanting a role and therefore wanting Hillary Clinton to ascend to that role than it was about Helen Mirren wanting to boost all women and recognizing Hillary’s ascendancy for its value in that social revolution.

Maybe the fault in the previews had something to do with men having provided all the promotional reports I saw about this interview. Not that they necessarily meant to, but they edited out those crucial first words on the subject.  Men are used to Hillary being brilliant and fierce and many men support her.  Is it possible that, to more men than I would hope, this was somehow scary?  “Spend your energies on changing roles for women in real life.”   Why was that part of the story excised?

Thank you, Dame Helen Mirren for your wise advice.  You are one of the most brilliant people around, and I cannot imagine two better role models and leaders for women than you and Hillary Clinton.

We women, especially,  should be wary.  When we see clips of Hillary, we miss some of the context.  That original clip of Helen lacked important context.  So much of the time all we see, and all I can find, are the little pre-digested bytes, bits,  and pieces.  I have always tried to find full transcripts and videos of Hillary’s speeches and remarks, but even at her campaign site they are few and far between.  All the information comes in memes, clips, and shorthand.  If the medium is the message, as McLuhan said,  we are all being shortchanged.

APB, Media!!!   We do not really need you to do the hunting for us. Lionesses come in prides!  We hunt.  We have teeth!  We can rip the meat off the bone and chew it for ourselves.

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Christine Quinn comes from a very personal place to explain in language anyone can understand, without a lot of frills,  Hillary’s evolution on marriage equality.

Christine Quinn on Hillary Clinton & Marriage Equality

Christine Quinn

Clinton has come to understand same-sex marriages the same way most Americans have evolved regarding the reality that everyone deserves marriage equality

Today, we have a woman running for President of the United States who fully supports marriage equality. She is also likely to be the only nominee running for president that does. That is something all Americans should be thrilled about. Her position is clear and rock solid, and they way she came to that conclusion is the same way most people do, including some of my own family members. Like most Americans, her position is one that evolved and developed from personal interactions with LGBT Americans and their families, and through a long and deep soul searching. I know a little bit about this process: It’s how my father came to support my right to marry and then eventually walk me down the aisle when I married my wife.

Read more >>>>

The media likes to present the process of coming to new terms on old issues as flip-flopping.  It is not.   I saw my own father, who was employed by the defense industry, evolve on the Viet Nam War.   Quinn describes the process perfectly.  It is deeply personal, and while there often is a material or concrete side to the question there is usually a profoundly spiritual or abstract personal one as well.

Don’t we want leaders who reflect on important issues that affect people’s lives?  While some in the media preoccupy themselves with some calendar where they tick off days since Hillary Clinton has responded to a question from the press, Hillary Clinton is on the road listening to Americans – to our concerns, our aspirations,  our perceptions,  and our positions.  She will respond to the noisy media who pretend to be the voice of the people in due time after she has spent some time listening to us and reflecting upon what she has heard.

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Evolving is not flip-flopping.  It is a process.  Where do you stand?  How do you feel?  What is your position?

  • On marriage equality?
  • On pay equality?
  • On arms and ammunition control?
  • On capital punishment?
  • On the role of women in civil society?
    • In business?
    • In government?
    • In making their own health decisions?
  • On hundreds of other issues and questions….

Have these positions remained stable for you or have they changed over time?  Most of us have probably gone through some changes.  Why should Hillary Clinton be any different?  Would you even want a leader who neither listens nor reflects?

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Hillary for America

Friend —

With today’s vote to restrict a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, Republicans in Congress have made it abundantly clear where their priorities lie:

Instead of helping everyday Americans and their families, these politicians are trying to take women back more than 40 years.

I’ll stand up for women and our right to access reproductive health care. Will you join me?

This bill puts women’s health and rights at risk. It undermines the role doctors play in personal health care decisions, and it burdens survivors of sexual assault.

It also follows a dangerous trend we are witnessing across the country. In just the first three months of 2015, more than 300 bills have been introduced in state legislatures — on top of the nearly 30 introduced in Congress — that restrict access to abortion.

Republicans won’t lift a finger to ensure paid family leave or increase access to quality childcare, but apparently they’ll waste time and taxpayer money to try and get between a woman and her doctor.

I’ve stood up for women and families my entire career. Safeguarding women’s reproductive health and rights is critical and deeply connected to building stronger families and a stronger America.

Add your name if you’ll take on this fight with me:

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/reproductive-health/

Thank you for joining me,

Hillary

And here’s a tweet.

 

 

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