“The fact that women are the primary breadwinners in more than 40 percent of households with children, but are only making 78 cents on the dollar is unacceptable. For women of color, that gap is even greater.”
WASHINGTON, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards released the following statement on the reintroduction of the Paycheck Fairness Act by champions Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), a commonsense bill that would protect women in the workplace, providing women with increased protections against pay discrimination. According to the latest data from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), full-time working women earn just 78 cents on average for every dollar a man earns. The gap is even wider for women of color, with African American women earning 64 cents and Latinas earning 54 cents for every dollar earned by a white man.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“We cannot move ahead if half the population is left behind. Women — and this country — are ready to move forward. Anyone who argues differently is on the wrong side of history. That’s why we applaud our champions in the House and Senate for standing with working women and their families and reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act today. This is a commonsense bill that would protect women in the workplace and help ensure they get equal pay for equal work.
“The fact that women are the primary breadwinners in more than 40 percent of households with children, but are only making 78 cents on the dollar is unacceptable. For women of color, that gap is even greater — with African American women earning 64 cents and Latinas earning 54 cents for every dollar earned by a white man.
“As a leading women’s health care provider and advocate, we hear from women every day that are working full-time jobs and struggling to make ends meet. Closing the ‘gender gap’ is an actionable way policy makers can and should move forward to ensure women are given the tools they need to succeed at home and in the workplace.”
BACKGROUND: Last year, President Obama issued two executive actions to help combat pay discrimination and strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for federal employees. The rest of the American public deserves the same.
The public overwhelmingly supports equal pay.
- In a 2014 nationwide survey, six in 10 (62 percent) likely voters said they support the Paycheck Fairness Act, a federal proposal that would help combat wage discrimination. Support crosses demographic and ideological lines, with 83 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of independents, and 44 percent of Republican voters saying they support the Paycheck Fairness Act.
- According to the latest Pew research on the subject, four out of five of people in this country reject the idea that women should go back to “traditional roles.”
- According to the Shriver Report, one-third of all American women are living at “the brink of poverty,” meaning that they earn less than $47,000 per year for a family of four. “Forty-two million women, and the 28 million children who depend on them, are living one single incident — a doctor’s bill, a late paycheck, or a broken-down car — away from economic ruin,” the report reveals.
More women than ever have entered the workforce, thanks in large part to expanded access to birth control.
- A 2012 University of Michigan study found that fully one-third of the wage gains women have made since the 1960s are the result of access to oral contraceptives. This study also found that the decrease in the gap among 25–49-year-olds between men’s and women’s annual incomes “would have been 10 percent smaller in the 1980s and 30 percent smaller in the 1990s” in the absence of widespread legal birth control access.
- Additional studies have found that access to contraception contributed significantly to more young women obtaining at least some college education and to more college-educated women pursuing advanced professional degrees.
- Highlighting the fact that birth control is a top economic driver for women, Bloomberg Businessweek recently listed contraception as one of the most transformational developments in the business sector in the last 85 years.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
March 25, 2015