Congresswoman Slaughter has always been an advocate for women’s rights and equality. Whether it’s fighting for equal pay for equal work or as the co-chair of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, she has been a leader in protecting and advocating for progress on issues important to women.
As the mother of three girls, Congresswoman Slaughter knows what it takes to balance family and professional priorities. Equality under the law is a constitutional right, which is why Congresswoman Slaughter fights for women and family-friendly policies, such as affordable health care and equal economic opportunity.
- Economic Fairness and Equality: It’s hard to believe that today, women are still paid less than men for performing the same work. Congresswoman Slaughter supports legislation to ensure women earn equal pay for equal work. It is unacceptable that women who work full time earn, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar men earn. Digging into the numbers paints an even worse picture as African American women earn only 64 cents and Latinas earn only 56 cents for each dollar earned by a white male. She also believes family-friendly policies, such as paid family and sick leave, are common-sense solutions supported by both businesses and employees. Congresswoman Slaughter has also co-sponsored legislation to raise the minimum wage, which would overwhelmingly affect the 2/3 of low-wage workers who are women.
- Reproductive Rights: Congresswoman Slaughter believes women have the right to make their own health care choices, including the constitutional right to an abortion, a right guaranteed to women decades ago. As co-chair of the House Pro Choice Caucus, Congresswoman Slaughter is the leading voice in Congress protecting a woman’s right to choose and defending women’s reproductive freedoms from anti-abortion rights legislation.
- Military Sexual Assault: For years, Congresswoman Slaughter has been a leading advocate for military survivors of sexual assault and worked tirelessly to make the military improve their prevention and response efforts. Still, nearly 20,000 servicemembers report being raped or sexually assaulted each year, with many cases going unreported or unpursued by the military justice system. Our servicemembers who are survivors of rape and sexual assault deserve no less than respect, dignity, and a fair and honest system that they can trust. Congresswoman Slaughter will continue to fight for survivors and an impartial military justice system with an emphasis on prevention.
- Equal Access to Affordable Health Care: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was an important victory for Americans, especially women. Before the ACA, eight states and the District of Columbia considered domestic violence as a pre-existing condition and could deny coverage. Congresswoman Slaughter strongly opposes Republican efforts to dismantle and repeal the ACA. The ACA ended the practice of gender rating, where women were charged higher premiums for the same insurance policies as men; offers vital health services like well-women visits, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and a full range of contraceptive methods and domestic violence screenings at no cost.
- Rules Committee Chairwoman: Congresswoman Slaughter was the first female Chair of the House Committee on Rules, where she facilitated the passage of dozens of bills, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
- Contraception and Birth Control Access: In response to the Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., which allowed an employer to deny coverage for certain types of contraceptive methods, Congresswoman Slaughter introduced the Not My Boss’s Business Bill, which would ensure that no corporation can choose to deny federally mandated health services.
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): Congresswoman Slaughter is an original author of this landmark legislation, the Violence Against Women Act, which has reduced cases of domestic violence by 67 percent since 1994. Congresswoman Slaughter was proud to be a lead advocate for the reauthorization of this transformative legislation in 2013 that notably included immigrant, LGBTQ, and Native American populations.
- Fair Pay: Congresswoman Slaughter was a lead co-sponsor of both the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on January 29, 2009 and gives women the right to sue if they were discriminated against, and the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would ensure equal pay for equal work.
- Research Diversity and Funding: Congresswoman Slaughter dedicated the first $500 million in federal funds to breast cancer research at the National Institute of Health (NIH). Prior to 1993, all clinical trials at the NIH were being conducted only on white men. This meant that diseases killing thousands of women per year, like breast cancer or ovarian cancer, or those that disproportionately affect minorities, such as sickle cell anemia, were not being researched properly. Congresswoman Slaughter led the charge to fix this discrepancy, culminating in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, which mandated that the NIH include women and minorities in all human subject research. She continues to fight for full inclusion of women and minorities in research.
- Military Sexual Assault: In 2011, Congresswoman Slaughter re-introduced the Force Protection and Readiness Act. Four provisions of this legislation were included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. These provisions all seek to increase the resources available to soldiers to help prevent sexual assault and support survivors. Importantly, this legislation ensures that survivors who request a base or organization transfer must have their request considered within 72 hours, and if the request is denied, it is automatically reviewed by an officer higher in the chain of command. Additionally, the legislation guarantees survivors a copy of the court martial proceeding regarding their case, which allows them to seek veterans’ benefits in the future.
- Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act: Provisions of legislation introduced by Congresswoman Slaughter were included in the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, which became law in 2014. The law ensures child welfare agencies can properly identify exploited children; train child protective services workers; and connect child victims to specialized recovery services. It will benefit organizations across the country, including The Center for Youth in Rochester.
More on Women
Washington, DC -- Four House leaders on women’s rights today introduced a bill to block recent Trump administration moves to limit women's access to birth control. Co-chairs of the Congressional Pro Choice Caucus Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY), along with Judy Chu (D-CA) and chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group Lois Frankel (D-FL), authored the Protect Access to Birth Control Act to safeguard this right for every woman in America.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO-1), co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, today blasted the Trump administration for moving to prevent refugees in federal shelters from accessing safe and legal reproductive health services even in cases of rape and incest.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO-1), co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, and Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) today reacted to the Trump administration’s interim final rule that would allow any employer to be exempt from the requirement to provide health insurance that includes contraception. Currently, insurers are required to cover birth control at no cost under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) has introduced the Patsy Mink Gender Equity in Education Act to provide more resources for schools, school districts, states, and institutions of higher education to fully implement Title IX. This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender sex in federally funded educational programs and activities.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) today announced that Monroe County has been awarded a $750,000 federal award from the U.S. Department of Justice through the Improving Criminal Justice Responses Program. This program helps implement the Violence Against Women Act, a law Slaughter co-authored that has reduced cases of domestic violence by 67 percent since 1994.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO-1), co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, and Nita Lowey (NY-17), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee and State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, today condemned the anti-choice provisions included in Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bills as Congress considers these measures this week.
WASHINGTON, DC — On the news that the Trump administration will suddenly end hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, Congresswomen Diana DeGette and Louise Slaughter, co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus issued the following statement:
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today reacted to efforts by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to weaken policies to combat campus sexual assault by watering down Title IX, the federal law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex in publicly funded education. This afternoon, Slaughter stood with colleagues at a press conference in opposition to Sec. DeVos’ efforts.
Washington, DC – Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus Co-Chairs Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) called the budget request submitted to Congress today by President Trump an unprecedented attack on women’s health. The proposal would make drastic cuts to crucial programs and have a devastating impact on women’s access to vital health care services.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Reps. Louise Slaughter (NY-25), Judy Chu (CA-27), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Jackie Speier (CA-14) sent a letter to Ivanka Trump inviting her to a meeting on women’s health issues, including access to affordable contraception.