Those who marched in the first International Women’s Day more than one hundred years ago made it clear that women’s rights are human rights as they demanded good wages, safe working conditions, and the right to vote.
While we’ve undoubtedly made progress since then, far too many women still experience wage discrimination, and many extreme politicians in Harrisburg and in Washington, D.C. want to roll back women’s rights and restrict access to women’s healthcare.
I’m proud to have Tom as my husband and as our governor here in Pennsylvania. He understands that women need allies who stand with them to fight for equal pay for equal work, access to affordable healthcare, and the right to make their own choices with their body.
And Tom understands these aren’t just social issues — they are also real economic issues that impact the daily life of women and families in Pennsylvania and across the country.
In Pennsylvania, 597,610 households are headed by women — and about 30 percent of those
households have incomes that fall below the poverty level. On average, women in our state earn about $10,000 less than men who work full-time. Eliminating that wage gap by requiring equal pay for equal work is equivalent to more than a year and a half of food for the average family.
As a former businessman, Tom understands why equal pay is good for business, and it’s pretty simple: If women don’t have to worry about having enough to feed their families or making rent, then they have money to spend on other things in the economy.
Unfortunately, President Donald Trump and his allies in Washington, D.C are fast-tracking a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood, allow insurance companies to discriminate against women, and dramatically increase costs for women and families to have health insurance.
Independent analysis of Trump’s plan shows that on average, costs for current enrollees would go up by more than $1,542 more a year if you’re not one of the up to 10 million people who would lose coverage under the proposal. Increased healthcare costs would force more women and families to choose between seeing the doctor and putting food on the table.
As soon as I read the details of the plan, I knew Tom would come out forcibly in opposition. Just as he knows equal pay for equal work is good for business, he also understands how affordable coverage and access to reproductive healthcare is vital to women, their families, and the economy.