Elections are not just about who wins or loses. Elections are about who decides laws directly effecting our daily lives and the daily lives of our children. Women especially need to be aware of the importance of Tuesday’s election. Women’s economic status has a major impact on the health of our families and, therefore, the health of our society. Women make up half of all workers on US payrolls; half of working mothers are the only wage earner in the family. Legislation that raises the minimum wage and demands paycheck fairness and pay equity benefits women. Bills proposing these things have gone nowhere. Will you vote for someone who supports raising the minimum wage, paycheck fairness and pay equity?
Women deal with problem of finding affordable, quality care for pre-school children. Childcare during Pre-K years must be more than babysitting. Childcare centers should be staffed by certified professionals who provide safe learning environments to prepare toddlers and preschoolers for elementary school. Moms will then have peace of mind that their children are in good hands while they are at work. Where does the candidate you will vote for stand on the issue of pre-school services?
Nearly half of women who work report that they do not get paid when they miss work to care for a sick child. Hence children spread germs at school and among the family at home. Women, out of necessity, send their kids to school or pre-school sick. Legislation such as the Family and Medical Leave Act languishing in Congress and similar proposals in the state will help women properly care for themselves and their sick children.
Where does the candidate you favor for congress or the state legislature stand on the Family and Medical Leave act?
Most working families now have access to health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In 2015, insurance options will be available for low-wage Pennsylvanians making below 138% of the federal poverty level. Does the candidate you will vote for support the ACA?
The ACA considers birth control, mammograms, cancer screenings, and flu shots essential prevention benefits that are covered without co-pay. As a result of the ACA, insurance companies must cover maternity care, and they are prevented from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions including pregnancy. Many politicians at the state and federal level are still intent on weakening or repealing the ACA which improves the lives of so many families.
According to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine, teenage girls who are given access to long-acting contraceptives such as IUDs or hormonal implants at no cost are much less likely to become pregnant. Will you vote for the candidate who supports vital health care for women including free birth control for women who qualify?
Safety is of great concern to women. Guns used by offenders and the mentally ill in domestic violence crimes are available because our lawmakers refuse to support sensible gun legislation. The House Bill #80 (HB80) that passed both the House and Senate in Harrisburg during the last minutes before the recent election recess would actually subject local governments to law suits by individuals who oppose local gun safety laws.
Where does you state legislator stand on gun safety issues?
For women the stakes are high on November 4. Who wins on Tuesday in federal, state or local government will either support economic opportunity, health and safety of women or deny them. You must vote. As poet Audre Lorde writes, “Your silence will not protect you.”
To find out how a candidate thinks on these issues visit their web sites, call their campaign offices, consult voters’ guides, then go the polls prepared to support those who care for women.