Strickland Continues Conversation on Women’s Issues with Sandra Fluke Following Strong Debate Performance

DAYTON, OH -- Following last night’s Senate Debate where Ted Strickland highlighted Senator Portman’s record of voting against women, today Strickland joined women’s rights leader Sandra Fluke for a roundtable discussion in Dayton to highlight the contrast between Ted and Senator Portman on issues that matter to women and families.   

“Women are the backbone of our families and Ohio’s economy -- in the Senate I will be proud to fight to protect women’s access to lifesaving healthcare, to promote economic fairness and to stand up for Ohio’s women and working families at every turn,” said Ted Strickland. “Senator Portman has had many opportunities to stand up for Ohio’s women, but instead he’s done nothing but push the agenda of his rich and powerful friends – supporting an overturn of Roe v. Wade and trying to defund Planned Parenthood, voting five times against equal pay, and even pushing legislation that would let a woman’s boss deny her access to basic healthcare services like birth control. But perhaps the most shameful action Senator Portman has taken is his decision to stand with Donald Trump after Trump bragged about sexual assault. Frankly, I believe Senator Portman owes the women of Ohio an apology for jeopardizing their health and safety for the sake of his self-interested politics.” 

“Women should be responsible for decisions about their own health -- not Washington insiders like Rob Portman,” said Sandra Fluke. “We have seen too many politicians like Portman push a dangerous agenda to defund Planned Parenthood, and restrict access to preventive healthcare and birth control coverage for women. This is a serious threat to the health and well-being of women in Ohio and across the country. Ted Strickland would protect access to these services and supports for all women and that’s why we must send him to the Senate.”

Previously, Strickland released his Ohio Families First proposal to fight for women and working families and announced “Women For Ted,” a coalition of 100 Ohio women elected officials, community leaders and activists who are working to mobilize voters across the state and share Ted’s message of fighting for working families with Ohioans throughout the campaign.

In contrast to Portman’s support for policies that hurt Ohio women and families, Strickland is committed to:

  • Protecting women’s healthcare. Strickland believes women’s healthcare choices should be between her and her doctor and that there is a clear connection between the accessibility of women’s healthcare services and economic opportunity for working families. That’s why in the Senate, Strickland will work to protect affordable and accessible healthcare for women, and fight against efforts to take healthcare choices away from women. In contrast,Senator Portman wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, has repeatedly worked to restrict women’s access to healthcare, and led the charge to allow a woman’s boss to decide whether or not to cover birth control -- costing an individual hundreds of dollars more a year.

  • Ensuring equal pay for equal work. Strickland is a proud supporter of the Paycheck Fairness Act, and in the U.S. Senate he will fight to make sure that Ohio women receive equal pay for equal work. Senator Portman voted five times against equal pay legislation.

  • Supporting paid family and medical leave. When a family member gets seriously ill or welcomes a new child, it’s often women who take the time off to care for their loved ones. That means women often face the gut-wrenching choice of taking time off or losing a paycheck or even a job. In the U.S. Senate, Strickland will support the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act that would provide workers with up to 12 weeks of partial income when they take time for their own serious health conditions or for the serious condition of a parent, child, spouse or domestic partner.

  • Increasing access to paid sick days. At least 43 million private sector workers in the U.S. cannot earn paid sick days, and even more cannot earn time to care for sick children or family members. Women are much more likely to miss work to care for a sick child -- and 60 percent of women will not get paid when they have to do that. In the U.S. Senate, Strickland will support the Healthy Families Act that will allow workers to earn up to seven paid sick days each year for their own illness, to access preventative care, provide care to a sick family member, attend school meetings related to a child’s health condition or disability, or engaged in other specified activities relating to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

  • Increasing availability of quality, affordable childcare. The high cost of childcare makes it extremely difficult for families to save for college, put food on the table, and keep the lights on. Strickland believes more must be done to make sure that the cost of childcare and the lack of available childcare services is not unfairly forcing women out of the workforce and holding working families back. Strickland will work to increase tax credits available to both families and employers to tackle this challenge and make sure women and families have affordable, quality options for childcare.

Below is more information about Senator Portman’s record of hurting Ohio’s women and families:  

Portman Voted Five Times Against Equal Pay Legislation Although Ohio Women Earn 75 Cents On The Dollar Compared To Men. [S. Con. Res. 11, Vote 152, 4/15/15; S.Amdt. 362 to S.Con.Res. 11, Vote 82, 3/24/15; S. 2199, Vote 262, 9/15/14; S. 2199, Vote 103, 4/9/14; S. 3220, Vote 115, 6/5/12; National Women’s Law Center, 9/15/16]

Senator Portman Co-Sponsored Controversial Blunt Amendment Jeopardizing Access to Birth Control And Preventive care. Portman co-sponsored the Blunt Amendment, which would allow employers to block access to women’s contraception or important preventive care like mammograms that they objected to. [S. 1467, Cosponsored 10/31/11; Columbus Dispatch, 3/4/12; Washington Post, 3/1/12; New York Times, 3/2/12]

Senator Portman Supported Infamous Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Decision, Co-Sponsored “Hobby Lobby On Steroids” Bill. Senator Portman supports the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision that allows some employers to deny women contraception coverage. He also co-sponsored a “Hobby Lobby On Steroids” bill which would allow employers or insurance companies to refuse to cover any preventive services or essential health benefits in the ACA. [Senator Rob Portman, Press Release,6/30/14; S. 2578, Vote 228, 7/16/14; S. 1919, Co-sponsored 8/4/15, Introduced 8/4/15; Salon, 6/16/15]

Senator Portman Supports Repeal Of The Affordable Care Act: Making Women Pay More For Birth Control And Preventive Care And Allowing Insurance Companies To Discriminate Against Women. [Rob Portman, Press Release, 3/20/15; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 3/23/15; Washington Post, Wonkblog, 7/8/15]

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