State lawmakers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania legislatures have introduced pro-woman bills since the new year started, a positive change from the increasing attacks on women’s rights and access to abortion around the United States.
A Vermont bill introduced Tuesday would affirm a woman’s right to an abortion. It would repeal all pre-Roe v. Wade Vermont statutes that criminalize performing abortions or advertising abortion services. The bill, S 315, states that the repeal of the dated restrictions would “serve as an important legislative action in support of a woman’s reproductive rights as well as help a health care provider to perform an abortion without fear of criminal liability.”
Lawmakers in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire introduced bills to promote equal pay for women. They will clarify when employers are allowed to pay differing wages. Under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, employers cannot pay employees differently based on gender, unless there is a difference in merit, seniority, quality or quantity of production, or “any other factor besides sex.” The bills change that to “a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience.” The bills also prohibit employers from banning employees from discussing their wages.
Pennsylvania’s HB 1890, was introduced last week was part of a larger package of other proactive bills to improve women’s health, safety and financial security. New Hampshire’s HB 1188 and SB 207 were introduced on Wednesday.
Media Resources: RH Reality Check 1/8/14, 1/9/14; Leg.state.vt.us; The General Assembly of Pennsylvania 2014; State of New Hampshire 2014 Session; Feminist Newswire 1/7/14