Congresswoman Maloney has always been on the front line in the fight for women’s rights – breaking down barriers, defending a woman’s reproductive rights, and expanding economic opportunities. Her career has been a series of firsts. Maloney is the first woman to represent New York’s 12th Congressional District; the first woman to represent New York City’s 7th Council district (where she was the first woman to give birth while in office); and was the first woman to Chair the Joint Economic Committee, a House and Senate panel that examines and addresses the nation’s most pressing economic issues. Throughout her career in public service, Carolyn has been known as one of the strongest defenders of women and families in New York and across the country.
Here are a few highlights of her work:
– The Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA would make equality between men and women explicit in the Constitution. Ensuring gender equality in our founding document would be an enormous step towards ending sex discrimination. We would finally be able to start to close the gender income gap, guarantee women equal footing in the courts, and be sure that government programs and laws do not systematically discriminate against women.
– The Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act. Pharmacists in at least 19 states have refused to sell women birth control due to pharmacists’ personal objections. The ABC Act requires pharmacies provide women access to birth control if it is in stock, notify women if the birth control is not in stock, and prohibits pharmacy employees from harassing women or preventing them from receiving birth control.
– Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act. At no cost to the taxpayer, new commemorative coins will be minted and sold in 2018 to raise funds to support breast cancer research, thanks to this bill that was signed into law in April 2016.
– The Breastfeeding Promotion Act. This act would require that employers provide new mothers, until their child is one year old, with a suitable place and time during the day to express breast milk.
– Campus Sexual Assault. Carolyn authored the Campus SaVE Act, which was signed into law in 2013 as part of the Violence Against Women Act renewal, to require better reporting on campus sexual assaults and direct the Education Department to write the strongest rules possible to ensure colleges protect its students. But the job isn’t done. Sexual assault on campus is still a major problem. That is why Carolyn has introduced the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, a bipartisan bill to strengthen accountability and protect and empower survivors.
– The Debbie Smith Act. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) hailed this law as “the most important anti-rape legislation ever signed into law.” Thanks to this bill, federal grant money has helped precincts across the country process DNA evidence from sexual assault cases, allowing states to clear out backlogs that could help law enforcement get rapists off the streets.
– Family Planning. Carolyn has consistently supported family planning services for women in the U.S. and around the world. She s a fierce advocate for Title X family planning programs, which provide preventive healthcare and family planning services for low-income American women. She was also a prominent voice in the fight to make Plan B emergency contraception available over-the- counter for adult women. She also fought to support U.S. funding for international family planning efforts and blocked attempts to cut off U.S. aid for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).
– The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act. This act would provide 6 weeks of paid leave to federal employees after the birth or adoption of a child or foster child placement, making the federal government an example for private industry and bringing federal employment practices more in line with those offered in most of the rest of the world.
– The End Demand for Sex Trafficking Act. This bill cracked down on criminals who buy and sell sex with trafficking victims and children and helped state governments enforce bans on the commercial trade of human beings. Part of this legislation was included in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, which was signed into law in 2006. Carolyn is the co-chair of the Human Trafficking Caucus, and has led efforts to pass landmark legislation to combat modern-day slavery. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof said that, when it comes to fighting Human Trafficking, “No one has been a greater champion than Carolyn Maloney.”
–The International Women’s Freedom Act. Supporting women’s rights abroad ought to be a major foreign policy priority. But in fights over funding, women’s equality is all too often shortchanged. This bill would ensure that the State Department has the resources to issue regular reports on women’s rights overseas – and to fight for equality. This includes tackling sex trafficking, domestic violence, child brides, and endemic sexual assault.
– The National Women’s History Museum Commission Act. Women’s accomplishments and contributions to our nation’s history are largely missing from our country’s museums, monuments and even textbooks. The National Women’s History Museum Commission Act, which was signed into law in December 2014, seeks to change that by creating a Congressional Commission to plan for the country’s first museum solely dedicated to honoring women’s contributions to the development of our nation.
– The Obstetric Fistula Prevention, Treatment, Hope, and Dignity Restoration Act. Obstetric fistula results from complications during childbirth. Afflicted women may chronically lose bowel or bladder control and are then often deserted by their families. The vast majority of fistula cases can be repaired with surgery. Carolyn introduced legislation to fund groups like USAID, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Campaign to End Obstetric Fistula to provide treatment for those suffering with fistula, prevention and education programs for women and practitioners, and skilled delivery attendance.
– Where are the women? As part of their War on Women, House Republicans of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform invited an all- male panel to testify at a 2012 hearing on the topic of women’s contraception coverage. Carolyn stood up and demanded to know: “Where are the Women?” and then led the Democratic Members on a walkout to protest the sham hearing.