Women's Rights

Ensuring women have equal rights and opportunities

Even in 2016, American women still have to fight for equal rights and opportunities under the law. If we are to move towards the “more perfect union” promised by our Constitution, we have to work for a more equal and just society – one where women have the right to control their own bodies and health care decisions, where they do not live in fear or silence due to domestic violence, and where they can earn the same salary as a man for doing the same job.

Senator Coons’ priorities for women’s rights include:

Protecting reproductive rights. Senator Coons believes that decisions about a woman’s health, including issues surrounding pregnancy, should be left to her and her doctor. Abortion should remain safe and legal for women regardless of their financial means. He supports Roe v. Wade and supports restoring the original rights expressed in the decision before legislation and courts began eroding them. In December of 2015, Senator Coons was proud to sign on to an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole case. The amicus brief urges the Court to step in to prevent states from creating a patchwork of laws that unduly restricts a woman’s access to abortion and places substantial obstacles in her path to exercising her constitutionally-protected right.

Ensuring access to women’s health and family planning services. Senator Coons supports public funding of all reproductive and preventative health services for women who cannot otherwise afford health care. He will continue to fight efforts to defund the Title X family planning program and Planned Parenthood. Without these programs, millions of Americans would be unable to access preventative screenings, birth control, and other health and family planning services.

Combating domestic violence. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Coons worked aggressively to support the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which has transformed the way communities confront and respond to domestic violence.

Fighting for equal pay for equal work. The idea that women are still paid less for doing the same job as men in America is not fair and should be addressed. Senator Coons believes a person’s earning potential should only be based on their talent and hard work and has strongly supported legislative efforts to enforce pay equity, including the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Advocating for paid leave. Senator Coons believes that no American should have to face the difficult choice of caring for themselves or a loved one or keeping their job. That’s why he’s a proud cosponsor of the Healthy Families Act, which would set a national paid sick days standard and allow workers in businesses with 15 or more employees to earn up to seven job-protected paid sick days each year.