The Democratic Party fights for the issues that mean the most to American
women, including ensuring equal pay, combating discrimination against women and
protecting freedom of choice.
The Democratic Party is pledged to upholding a woman's right to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade. Democrats believe it is a fundamental constitutional liberty that individual Americans - not government - can best take responsibility for making the most difficult and intensely personal decisions regarding reproduction. In 1998, Congressional Democrats and President Clinton enacted legislation guaranteeing access to contraceptive care for federal employees and their family members. This year Congressional Democrats fought to retain this access after President Bush proposed eliminating it.
President Bush is strongly anti-choice and has indicated that his administration may challenge Roe v. Wade. Since he took office, Bush has taken every opportunity to chip away women's reproductive rights by reinstating the Mexico City Policy, a Reagan-era funding ban on family planning services worldwide; trying to eliminate guaranteed access to contraceptive coverage; and undermining the legal logic of Roe v. Wade.
The Democratic Party believes in the fundamental right of working women to receive equal pay. Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) have introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act to reduce paycheck discrimination based on sex.
President Bush has undermined efforts to ensure equal pay by appointing advisers who deny the existence of the gender gap and by failing to provide adequate funding to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces federal laws against discrimination and upholds equal pay.
The Democratic Party was proud when President Clinton established the Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach that advocated for policies to assist women. In 2001 the Democratic National Committee launched the Women's Vote Center to help elect more Democrats to office by educating, engaging, and mobilizing women voters throughout the nation. Consistent with his effort to make his Administration look like America, President Clinton appointed women to 46 percent of Senate-confirmed administration jobs in his first year.
The Bush Administration showed that issues affecting women are not its priority when it closed the White House Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach and proposed to abolish regional outreach offices operated by the Women's Bureau at the Department of Labor, the sole Federal government entity concerned with promoting the interests of working women. In his first year in office, Bush appointed women to only 26 percent of Senate-confirmed administration jobs.