Hillary Rodham Clinton on the Issues
The National Organization for Women Political Action Committee (NOW PAC) has a proud history of endorsing candidates who are leaders in the struggle to achieve full equality for women and who have demonstrated through their actions strong support of women's rights across a broad range of issues.
In this tradition, NOW PAC is pleased to announce its endorsement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for president of the United States.
From her work as a national board member in the early years of the Children's Defense Fund to her leadership of the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, from her role as first lady of Arkansas to first lady of the United States, Clinton has been an outspoken promoter of empowerment and inclusion, fairness and equality.
The following is a brief review of Sen. Clinton's record and stands on issues that impact freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for women and girls.
Saving the Courts
Hillary Clinton recognizes the importance of the federal judiciary and opposed the nominations of both of the recent Bush appointees to the United States Supreme Court, John Roberts and Samuel Alito, and joined in the filibuster of Alito. As president, Clinton would nominate judges who respect women's rights.
Preserving Birth Control/Abortion Rights/Reproductive Justice
Senator Clinton has a strong record protecting and advancing a woman's right to control her body and to plan her family as she sees fit.
Birth Control: Clinton co-sponsored the Prevention First legislation in the senate and has long advocated for strengthening access to contraception, identifying realistic solutions to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, and improving access to women's health care. Clinton continues to champion increased funding for Title X family planning services, and insuring equitable insurance coverage for contraception, and has introduced new legislation to ensure Medicaid coverage of contraception for low-income women.
Emergency Contraception (EC): Clinton led the fight, along with Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to force the Food and Drug Administration to allow emergency contraception to be sold in pharmacies without a doctor's prescription, increasing its accessibility for emergency use. Senator Clinton also supported legislation to create, expand and fund teen pregnancy prevention programs and education programs that would include access to emergency contraceptives.
Abortion: Senator Clinton's votes have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to a woman's right to safe, legal abortion, while at the same time working on programs to reduce the number of unintended and unwanted pregnancies.
Abortion Procedures Ban: Clinton voted both times against the federal abortion procedures ban; the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of that ban because of Alito's confirmation.
Young Women's Access: Clinton opposed a bill that would have made sisters, aunts, grandmothers, counselors, religious advisors -- indeed anyone who assists a minor in crossing the state line for an abortion without parental consent -- a felon. She actively campaigned against requiring parental notification for teen abortion, saying it would "put our most vulnerable teens at risk — teens who may already be endangered by negligent or even abusive homes."
Advancing Economic Justice
On every issue that affects the economic status of women and girls, Senator Clinton has advocated for a safer and more secure future.
Pay Equity: Clinton has supported and is the lead sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act. She has a robust track record promoting women's educational advancement and equality in the workplace.
Minimum Wage: Clinton has supported raising the minimum wage every time it has come up in Congress and understands that it is a fairness, anti-poverty and women's rights issue.
Overtime: Clinton was a leader in our fight to prevent the Department of Labor from undermining overtime protections for low-income workers, mostly women.
Work/Family Balance: Clinton supports early childhood education, universal availability of childcare for all, paid sick and family leave and policies that recognize the dual roles of workers who are parents and caregivers.
Social Security: Clinton opposes privatizing Social Security and recognizes that this social program is essential to economic security and livelihood of women and families.
Domestic Partner Benefits: Clinton supports the extension of job benefits, and indeed all of the federal benefits available to married couples, to committed same-sex partners, "nothing left out."
Immigration: Clinton supports allowing undocumented immigrants and guest workers a path to citizenship and participation in Social Security. She is promoting healthcare for immigrant children as part of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Budget and Taxes: Clinton supports funding for human needs programs that are vital to struggling families and opposes billion dollar tax giveaways to the wealthy. She opposes making the Bush tax cuts permanent, and has proposed that they be rolled back.
Promoting Civil Rights and Ending Racism
Affirmative Action: Clinton hailed the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in June 2003, in Grutter v. Bollinger, which upheld affirmative action policies at the University of Michigan law school. Clinton noted that "for millions of Americans, affirmative action has knocked down the barriers of the past that prevented them from attending college, law school, serving in the military, or working in our country's leading companies..."
Hurricane Katrina: In a recent speech Clinton said: "And how do we say that everything is fine, Bloody Sunday is for the history books, when over 96,000 of our citizens, the victims of Hurricane Katrina, are still living in trailers and mobile homes, which is a national disgrace to everything we stand for in America?" She has also proposed rolling back Bush's tax cuts and using the money for reconstruction efforts in the city of New Orleans.
Voting Rights: Clinton is strongly committed to making sure that every person in the U.S. has the right to vote in fair, accessible and credible elections. Senator Clinton introduced the Count Every Vote Act of 2005 to ensure better protection of votes and to ensure that every vote is counted.
Advancing Health Care for All
Universal Healthcare: Campaigning in Iowa, Clinton declared that "We're going to have universal health care when I'm president — there is no doubt about that. We're going to get it done."
Health Care Access: Clinton has worked for decades to improve our nation's health care delivery system and to provide everyone with access to health coverage. Clinton's efforts have been public, focused and determined, making her the object of the insurance industry's smear campaign.
Senator Clinton has introduced legislation to strengthen Medicaid coverage for family planning services for low-income women. The legislation requires states to extend coverage for family planning services and supplies to women who would be entitled to Medicaid funded prenatal, labor, delivery and postpartum care.
She also introduced the Pediatric Research Improvement Act, to allow the Food and Drug Administration's to continue requiring that drugs marketed for pediatric use are actually safe and effective for children.
Stem Cell Research: Clinton supports expansion of the current federal policy, so that more lines of stem cells will be available for lifesaving embryonic stem cell research.
Ending Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
Discrimination/Hate Crimes: Senator Clinton has long been a supporter of laws to protect the LGBTQ community from crimes based on hate, and ending the ability of employers to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. She supports efforts to expand hate crimes violations to include gender, gender identity, disability, and sexual orientation.
Same-Sex Marriage/Civil Unions: Senator Clinton actively opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution that would have banned same-sex marriage, and supports civil unions plus all federal benefits. She said, "In the end, we defeated the Federal Marriage Amendment and we sent a strong message that we will not stand idly by when anyone tries to write discrimination into our Constitution."
Same-Sex Couples Adopting Children: Clinton supports the rights of lesbian and gay couples to adopt children. "I have seen the sadness and the hope in the eyes of children desperate for a family to call their own," Clinton said when speaking of gay adoption. "We have a fundamental obligation to make sure these children have a loving home and a chance to succeed." Clinton affirmed: "We are going to make sure that nothing stands in the way of loving couples — gay or straight — who want to adopt children,"
Don't Ask Don't Tell: Clinton has in clear terms denounced the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, indicating that it doesn't just hurt gays and lesbians, but it hurts all of our troops. Clinton believes that the U.S. must make it safer for openly gay and lesbian military service members to safely serve their country, and to protect and provide for our national security.
HIV/AIDS Program Funding: Clinton has urged increased funding to help people living with HIV/AIDS. Although she objected to New York's funding allocation, she has urged that instead of arguing over allocation that we strengthen the overall funding to meet the growing challenge and crisis of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. "That is the real debate we should be having on the floor of the Senate," said Senator Clinton.
Stopping Violence Against Women
Domestic Violence: As a law student, Clinton represented foster children and parents in family court and worked on some of the earliest studies creating legal standards for identifying and protecting abused children. As an attorney, Clinton was an outspoken advocate for children and families, including representing victims of sexual assault and rape. Her Little Rock, Ark. home was near the local domestic violence shelter, where she spent hours talking to the women and children, listening to their stories and helping them access needed resources.
Violence Against Women Act: As First Lady, Clinton was out front in urging Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. As a U.S. senator she has fought to fully fund VAWA, arguing that the programs of the act are critical to women being able to establish lives free from violence and its ensuing problems.
Global Protections: At the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, Clinton proclaimed to the world that women's rights are human rights. She stated that "it is a violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide (of women) is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes and it is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small."
Ending the Iraq War
While NOW PAC opposed the war vote in 2002, Clinton's vote was the same as every other candidate who was in the Senate at that time, all of whom were misled by the new president and by his secretary of state, Colin Powell. At the time Clinton was vocal in her conviction that international pressure and diplomacy was the correct U.S. response.
Clinton has said that she would have voted differently if she had known the information provided to senators were lies, and has offered legislation that would end the Iraq occupation while recognizing the need to help stabilize Iraq through political, diplomatic and limited military involvement. That legislation would, according to the Washington Post, "cap troop levels, start a phased withdrawal, and cut off Iraqi security funding under some circumstances."
Clinton's experience in the White House and the Senate, coupled with her political understanding and personal relationships with world leaders, affords her the credibility to bring different factions (and other world nations) together as part of a political and diplomatic effort to produce a well-reasoned strategy to end the war. Clinton has said that if elected president she will end the Iraq war, and we will expect her to do no less.