I spent my childhood watching my parents – who both served terms as president of Planned Parenthood of Bucks County – fight to promote reproductive rights for women and girls here in Pennsylvania. That shaped my career, and also the man I am today. As a young lawyer, I worked for the Philadelphia Women’s Law Project on a successful challenge to Pennsylvania’s restrictive anti-choice law. Fifteen years ago, my wife, Christy, and I inherited my family’s foundation, the Wallace Global Fund, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to family planning and abortion rights worldwide.
Christy and I have rededicated the foundation more broadly to advancing women’s rights, fighting against harmful patriarchal practices like child marriage and female genital mutilation, promoting women’s economic empowerment through access to microenterprise loans, educating investors about the value of investing in women-run businesses, and promoting access to family planning and girls’ education — which is critical to ensuring that women have agency over their own bodies and can participate fully in society.
As your representative in Congress, I will rely on my decades of experience as a zealous advocate for the rights of women and girls to implement meaningful policy solutions that will improve the lives of women and families right here in the first district.
- Equal Pay for Equal Work: Women still earn around 80 cents to a man’s dollar for the same work, and the statistics are even worse for women of color. Instead of rolling back equal pay protections, like Donald Trump did last year, I will work to ensure that women are compensated fairly. It’s not just the right thing to do; it makes economic sense. If women were paid fairly, the American economy would see more than $500 billion in additional economic activity and millions of families would be lifted out of poverty.
- Reproductive Rights: The rights of women to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions is constantly under attack. Through my decades of work as an advocate for global family planning services, and as a proud parent myself, I know how important it is to protect the rights of women and families to make their own healthcare decisions. As your representative in Congress, I will support the full funding of Planned Parenthood for family planning and reproductive health services, and I will fight against dangerous, restrictive laws that impede on the ability of women and their doctors to make the best choices.
- It’s on Us: We must actively work to end rape culture and combat sexual violence and harassment everywhere — in the workplace, on college campuses, in the military, and even in the halls of Congress and the White House. I will work with leaders in all levels of government to ensure adequate resources to combat sexual assault and stronger protections for survivors of sexual violence. What I won’t do is protect perpetrators of sexual harassment or sexual violence — no matter their position, their politics, or their past. It is outrageous that Paul Ryan and this Congress have allowed taxpayer dollars to be used to make secret payments to settle claims of sexual harassment against Members of Congress. And it is ridiculous that after so many women have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct, our Republican Congress and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick cannot muster the courage to condemn his behavior, let alone take any action.
- Supporting Working Families: Out of 41 industrialized nations around the world, the United States is the only one that does not guarantee paid parental leave. We also have millions of workers who are faced with impossible decisions each day: go to work sick; leave a sick loved one home alone; or risk losing their job. This has to change, but first, our leaders and our priorities must change. Instead of spending trillions on tax cuts for the rich, I will work to implement common-sense solutions that support working families, such as paid parental leave, expanded sick and family medical leave, and policies that make childcare more affordable.
When we empower women and families with policies like this, we are empowering our next generation of leaders and ensuring that they have the right to self-determination in this world. This is powerfully resonant with me because of my parents’ passion and because of my own daughters.
The voters of Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District deserve a Representative who is a lifelong progressive Democrat, with decades of experience actually working for women’s rights and empowerment. As I learned in Quaker meeting, “Let your life speak.”
“You and your parents before you have been stalwart supporters of reproductive choice for decades. Plan B wouldn’t have happened without the support of the Wallace Global Fund. The reproductive choice community should be doing everything possible to support your candidacy.”
— Dr. Sharon Camp, Emily’s List Leadership Circle; formerly: President, Guttmacher Institute; Senior VP, Population Action International; Chair, International Consortium for Emergency Contraception; Chair, Family Health International; Chair, International Center for Research on Women; Founding Chair, Reproductive Health Technologies Project; President, Women’s Capital Corporation (Plan B)