“I am devastated over the loss of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, an incredible feminist leader and a dear friend. She spoke softly with her Kentucky accent, and was one of the most powerful women to have ever served in the House of Representatives,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Smeal continued, “I have worked with Congresswoman Slaughter for decades furthering the rights of women. She ran for the New York State Assembly, and later the U.S. Congress, to fight for women’s reproductive rights. As co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, she worked tirelessly to defend and advance a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions.

“Louise was the only microbiologist in Congress, and prioritized funding for public health programs, including the first ever breast cancer research initiative through the National Institute of Health. Louise was also the House sponsor of the Patsy Mink Gender Equity in Education Act of 2017 and was a key advocate for the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York.

“Louise was always proud to represent Rochester, the home of Susan B. Anthony. When she became the first women chair of the House Rules Committee, she hung Anthony’s photograph in front of her on the committee room wall, the only woman pictured among a sea of men. Today, appropriately, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s portrait hangs in the committee room, reminding everyone of her legacy. I will miss her greatly.”

 

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Rochester National Organization for Women is currently planning a vigil in Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s honor.