Mayor Walsh: Defending Reproductive Freedom and Advancing Women’s Equality in Boston
By Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts | Oct. 30, 2017, 3:12 p.m.
Jen C-R: In our first ever mayoral endorsement in the Advocacy Fund’s history, we were proud to endorse you for re-election as Mayor of the City of Boston. In today’s political climate, it is so important we have a local champion with a strong record of fighting for reproductive freedom and women’s equality in our city.
Mayor Walsh: Thank you, Jen! I couldn’t be prouder to earn this endorsement. There has never been a more critical time in this nation's history to stand strongly in support of women’s health and reproductive rights.
That’s why I’ve been so vocal about my own opposition to national attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and cut patients off from care. Back on that freezing day in March, I was honored to join you at the Stand with Planned Parenthood Rally and speak to thousands of Massachusetts residents. When I addressed the crowd about the attacks on Planned Parenthood, I told them loud and clear “We can’t let this happen. America is better than that.”
In May, I joined mayors across the country urging Congressional leadership to reject efforts to block access to care at Planned Parenthood. And I just want Planned Parenthood patients to know that I will keep standing up for them and their access to health care.
Jen C-R: I’ve noticed that you aren’t just speaking out against the attacks on women - but you are really speaking out against all the hateful attacks coming out of the Trump administration. The military ban on transgender people, Trump’s decision to rescind DACA and target DREAMers, the list goes on and on.
Mayor Walsh: The City of Boston should be a place where every person feels welcomed. While the Trump administration is intent on inciting fear and hate, it’s up to us to stand up to this hate and promote inclusiveness. As President Trump continues his attacks on women, immigrants, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, I will continue to fight for all Bostonians.
Jen C-R: Beyond Trump, I think this may surprise some folks – but you have taken a lot of proactive steps to advance sexual and reproductive health in the City of Boston and beyond. Can you speak to that a bit?
Mayor Walsh: Sure. When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the state’s buffer zone law in 2014, I worked quickly to ensure Planned Parenthood patients in Boston could continue to access care safely. I was a big supporter and advocate for the passage of the new Safe Access Law, legislation that bolsters protections around reproductive health centers.
I was proud to have the City of Boston be one of the few cities that submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the unconstitutional abortion restrictions challenged in the Whole Women’s Health case. Just recently, I signed the Paris Declaration on Fast-Track Cities making Boston the 12th U.S. city to join the global campaign to end the transmission of HIV through expanded local efforts.
There is a lot of work to be done on the municipal, state, and national level to advance sexual and reproductive health. In my second term, the City of Boston will continue to use every avenue available to push forward this necessary work.
Jen C-R: Your focus on women’s advancement really resonates with me. The City of Boston offers free salary negotiation workshops to women – in fact, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts hosted one in Boston this year. Closing the gender wage gap and advancing women in the workforce seems to be a huge priority for you. I think about my own career and how helpful these types of workshops would have been for me and so many other women. What fuels your efforts to break down barriers for women in the workforce?
Mayor Walsh: It’s plain and simple: When women succeed, Boston succeeds.
While Massachusetts’ law to close the gender wage gap was an important step forward, what’s needed is a culture shift from the ground up, across every boardroom and workplace in our City. That’s why we formed the Office of Women’s Advancement and why we partnered with AAUW Work Smart on these free salary negotiation workshops. A new report shows our efforts are working – finding 87 percent of women who completed the workshops took action by identifying target salaries, and nearly half either negotiated increased compensation in their current job or a obtained a competitive salary for a new job.
Jen C-R: Thank you! Before we go, is there anything else you want to share with Boston voters as the November 7th Election approaches?
Thanks Jen. I will always stand with Planned Parenthood and its patients and I look forward to our continued work together to ensure everyone can access quality care – no matter what.