For Immediate Release

June 4, 2013

Statement of Eleanor Smeal – Remembering Senator Frank Lautenberg

A Strong Supporter of Women’s Rights

Senator Frank Lautenberg, who had the support of the feminist movement in New Jersey and nationwide throughout his Senate career, was a leader in many fights for women’s rights.

He was the author and champion of the 1996 Domestic Violence Gun Ban, which prohibited people convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence from possessing or purchasing a firearm. Together with Donna Edwards, then Executive Director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the Feminist Majority, and leaders of the National Organization for Women, I had the privilege then of working with Senator Lautenberg, who never doubted it would pass. After passage he stood firmly against all attempts to gut the law by exempting police officers and military service personnel from its coverage. His actions prevented countless tragedies. He also stood strongly with Dianne Feinstein in passing the Assault Weapons Ban in 1994.

Senator Frank Lautenberg worked for passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and championed coverage of children with pre-existing conditions and funding of comprehensive sex education. Throughout his career, he strongly supported women’s reproductive rights and fought all Congressional efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.


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