Women’s Issues

It’s time for change, not politics as usual.

Women’s Issues

As your State Representative:

1. I will work to end the economic sexism in Colorado. I will introduce or support legislation that ensures that equal pay for equal work is a reality, not just the law. We need to provide women with the tools to see that current laws are enforced.

2. I will introduce legislation to raise the minimum wage because too many women, especially mothers, work full-time and still live in poverty. And we need to make sure affordable childcare is available.

3. I will work to make sure that women living on social Security do not spend their retirement years without enough money to eat, pay utilities, and enjoy the comfort they earned and deserve.

4. I will work to make sure that women have equal opportunity for higher education, and that women in the workplace have opportunities to learn new skills to increase their income. And I will work for affordable childcare to help women while attending school.

5. I will oppose any law that infringes on a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions. We must keep the government and employers out of a woman’s health care decisions.

6. I will oppose any effort to discriminate against women in health insurance issues  coverage, including contraception coverage.

7. I will oppose any bills that would change our participation in Medicaid expansion, repeal our state healthcare exchange, or cut our expenditures for healthcare including mental health.

8.  I will work to restore funding for the successful state program that drastically reduced unwanted teen pregnancies and abortions. Republicans gutted this program. I will fight to restore it because it worked.

9. I will work to strengthen laws regarding sexual assault, particularly in state-supported colleges and universities, insuring that all complaints are properly investigated and prosecuted if evidence warrants. I will work to make sure that persons who assault or abuse women are punished.

Detailed position

Too many women in Colorado work for employers who do not provide health insurance, and too many work for the minimum wage or low wages. Traditionally, women earned less than men (and still do) therefore their Social Security checks are not sufficient to live on. This is why Colorado must do more to help women who are in this situation. Affordable health insurance and the Medicaid expansion are crucial to women, and must be preserved.

Sexual assault is on the rise, particularly on college campuses. This may be the result of more cases being reported, or there may simply be more assaults. I will work hard to make sure that Colorado takes this issue seriously, and that high schools, colleges and universities in particular do not sweep this under the carpet regardless of who is accused of the assault, be it an athlete or staff member.

Women are more likely than men to be victims of gun violence. Many of these deaths come at the hands of a man under a restraining order. We need to make sure that those men cannot buy guns. We must make sure that law enforcement and the courts protect women who have obtained a restraining order or order of protection. Penalties must be increased for violating No Contact orders.

My positions on Pay Equity and Child Care benefit everyone, but they most directly apply to women. The same is true regarding my goals for Seniors. Because women comprise half the population, every issue is a woman’s issue.

Regarding health, some laws discriminate against women when it comes to their own health and their own bodies. I will not support any legislation that allows government or employers to interfere with a woman’s fundamental rights to manage her health and control her own body.

Colorado must make sure that all our citizens, young and old, receive the best healthcare possible, from cradle to grave, without discrimination, regardless of their gender, nationality or station in life.

Research shows that more than half the pregnancies in the nation are unplanned. Many of these result in abortions. Lack of access to contraception and scientifically and age appropriate sex education are the biggest factors contributing to unwanted teen pregnancies. When Colorado made contraception affordable, teen pregnancies dropped dramatically.

Too often the politicians who stridently oppose access to abortion are the very same ones who vote consistently to kill funding for every program that would help a woman carry her baby to full term and beyond. They block funding for social net programs including health care for mother and baby, food assistance, affordable housing, child care and job training.

As a Catholic, I am bound to follow the Church’s teaching on issues like abortion.  As an elected official, however, I would be required to take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. The Supreme Court has ruled that women have a right to use contraception and obtain an abortion up until the point that the fetus becomes viable. Like other Catholics in public office, like Vice-president Biden and others, I will not support any bill that takes away those constitutional rights regardless of my personal religious views. That includes personhood bills, trap laws, or other back-door attempts to take away women’s rights under the constitution.