WASHINGTON, DC – Planned Parenthood Action Fund applauded Hillary Clinton’s campaign speech today, where she made clear that any vision for the economy must include women and eliminate inequality within our economy, including disparities in wages.  Clinton stated: “For far too long, these challenges have been dismissed by some as ‘women’s issues.’ Well, those days are over…”

Specifically, Clinton emphasized the importance of closing the gender pay gap and expanding access to paid family leave, implementing the minimum wage increase, and protecting the Affordable Care Act. Clinton also noted the need for the United States to remedy the low rank in women’s workforce participation among the world’s most developed countries.

You can learn more about the 2016 candidates and their records on women’s health here: http://www.womenarewatching.org/2016-presidential-candidates

Statement from Cecile Richards, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Clinton’s speech today was a much-needed breath of fresh air. We know that for America to succeed, women must succeed. Hillary Clinton wants to break down barriers for women in the workforce – unlike her Republican opponents, who are tripping over themselves to embrace the worst policies for women’s health and economic advancement.

“Implementing paid leave; expanding access to high-quality, affordable childcare; and giving women the ability to decide when and whether to start a family are all deeply tied to women and families’ overall economic success. We know that access to reproductive health care, including birth control, has helped women make tremendous strides forward — enabling them to earn higher wages, complete their education, and pursue their dreams.”

Fast Facts:

  • Polling from the 2012 election shows that access to safe and legal abortion, affordable birth control, and basic health care access are motivating voting issues for women, who view them as core economic issues for their families.  An overwhelming majority of women voters trust Planned Parenthood political and advocacy organizations when they speak out about issues affecting the health of women.
  • For young women in America, the idea that pregnancy alone will determine their destiny is unthinkable today. They fully expect that birth control, and yes, safe and legal abortion, will be available to them — and they should. In fact, according to Pew research, four out of five people in this country reject the idea that women should go back to “traditional roles.”
  • According to the latest data from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), full-time working women earn 78 cents on average for every dollar a man earns. That means nationally, a woman who holds a full-time, year-round job is paid $39,157 per year while a man who holds a full-time, year-round job is paid $50,033 per year.
    • The gap is even wider for women of color, with African American women earning 64 cents and Latinas earning 54 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. White women make 78 cents while Asian American women make 90 cents for every dollar earned by a white man.
  • This gender gap is more than a statistic — it has real-life consequences. The fact that women are the primary breadwinners in more than 40 percent of households with children, but women are only making 78 cents on the dollar is unacceptable.
    • Consider this: Working women in the United States are paid, on average, more than $10,000 less per year than men. According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, that’s the equivalent of 86 weeks of food expenses or one year of rent.
    • According to the Center for American Progress, mothers are primary or sole breadwinners in 41 percent of families in the United States, and mothers are the primary or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of families.
  • Thanks to increased access to reproductive health care, more women than ever are in the workforce. Unfortunately, some workplace policies have not kept up with this progress. More women than ever have entered the workforce, thanks in large part to expanded access to birth control.
    • A 2012 University of Michigan study found that fully one-third of the wage gains women have made since the 1960s are the result of access to oral contraceptives. This study also found that the decrease in the gap among 25–49-year-olds between men’s and women’s annual incomes “would have been 10 percent smaller in the 1980s and 30 percent smaller in the 1990s” in the absence of widespread legal birth control access.
    • Additional studies have found that access to contraception contributed significantly to more young women obtaining at least some college education and to more college-educated women pursuing advanced professional degrees.
    • Highlighting the fact that birth control is a top economic driver for women, Bloomberg Businessweek recently listed contraception as one of the most transformational developments in the business sector in the last 85 years.

Hillary Clinton’s record:

  • Hillary Clinton has a 100% on the Planned Parenthood Action Fund congressional scorecard for every single year she served as a United States Senator (2001-2009). During her terms in the Senate, Planned Parenthood Action Fund tracked 16 votes.
     
  • As a senator, Clinton consistently advocated for paycheck fairness. Senator Clinton introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2005 and 2007. Speaking to her bill in 2007, Clinton noted that “pay discrimination continues to result in women earning less than men for performing the same job.” The Paycheck Fairness Act would add nonretaliation requirements for folks who inquire about or discuss their wages. Senator Clinton co-sponsored the legislation in 2001 and 2003 as well. This policy was adopted, in part, by President Obama’s April 2014, Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their wages.  [S. 841, 4/19/05; S. 766, 3/6/07; Senator Clinton floor remarks, 3/6/07; S.77, 1/22/01S. 76, 1/7/03; Executive Order, 4/8/14]
     
  • As a senator, Clinton co-sponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which became the first law signed by President Barack Obama on January 29, 2009. The Act, which expanded workers’ rights to take pay discrimination issues to court, was originally introduced in 2007 by Ted Kennedy as the Fair Pay Restoration Act. That version was co-sponsored by Clinton as well. [S. 181, 1/8/09; S. 1843, 7/20/07]
     
  • Senator Clinton co-chaired Senate hearings on the need to close the pay gap between men and women. “It is in all of our interests, men and women, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, to pursue, and finally achieve, equal wages for equal work. The pay gap is not a problem to be ignored or denied. Equality works for all of us and it’s my hope that in this new Congress, we can make sure that everyone in America works in equality,” said Senator Clinton. [Senator Clinton press release, 4/12/07]
     
  • In the Senate, Hillary Clinton worked to expand access to family planning and comprehensive sex education, to beat back attacks on safe and legal abortion, and to ensure low-income women and those serving in the military had access to abortion. Clinton also waged a multi-year effort with Senator Patty Murray to get the FDA to make emergency contraception available over-the-counter.
     
  • As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton was outspoken about the critical role of reproductive health, gender equality, and women's empowerment in supporting broader health, development, and foreign policy goals. She helped increase investments in international family planning programs and end harmful restrictions like the global gag rule. Clinton established the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which stated that women should be central to U.S. development and diplomacy, and launched the Office of Global Women’s Issues, which runs programs ranging from training rural health providers in Africa to assist victims of sexual violence, to addressing child marriage in Bangladesh. Clinton also started the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership, created to discuss the advancement of women in international business and economic policy and the Women in Public Service Project, to encourage more women to enter public service.