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Sink, Chapin Condemn Webster's Extreme Record on Women's Issues

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Tallahassee, FL — Former CFO Alex Sink joined with Former Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin on a call today to condemn Congressman Dan Webster's extreme record which is out of touch with Florida values and hurting Central Florida women and families. 

Instead of focusing on growing our economy or helping businesses create jobs, Congressman Webster has consistently prioritized an extreme agenda: voting to deny women access to lifesaving healthcare — and even restrict access to contraception — while also voting against ending unfair wage discrimination practices, costing Florida women thousands of dollars every year. 

“Central Florida women have a clear choice in this election,” said Alex Sink. “Congressman Webster has consistently put his partisan agenda above the needs of women and families. He’s voted against ending the unfair wage discrimination that costs Central Florida families thousands of dollars every year. And he’s consistently voted in favor of restricting access to the most basic health care services for women – like birth control, cancer screenings and critical preventative care. These misguided values are wrong for Florida's women, wrong for our families, and the wrong direction for our country." 

"Floridians want our elected leaders to put partisanship aside and solve problems — but unfortunately, Congressman Dan Webster seems more interested in pursuing an extreme, partisan agenda than looking out for Florida's women and families," said former Mayor Linda Chapin. "Congressman Webster should be focused on growing our economy and help businesses create jobs — not rubber stamping a Tea Party agenda that is out of step with the values of our community. Central Florida women deserve a new leader we can trust to stand up for us, and the stakes are too high to afford another term of Congressman Webster's backward agenda."

BACKGROUND

Webster Co-Sponsored Life at Conception Act.  In February 2012, Webster signed on as a cosponsor of HR 374, the Life at Conception Act. [HR 374, Cosponsors]

  • Similar Personhood Amendments Would Ban Certain Forms of Birth Control. “Other possibilities include bans on certain forms of birth control that can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, like the IUD and some formulations of the pill.” [NPR, 11/09/11]
  • Senate Life at Conception Act Would Ban Abortion and Threaten to Make Birth Control Illegal.  In 2011, the President of NARAL said that the Life at Conception Act would “ban abortion- even in the cases of rape or incest and threatens to outlaw birth control.” [Ms. Magazine, 1/26/11]
  • Senate and House Bills Contain Same Text. The Senate and House versions of the “Life at Conception Act” contain the same language with one exception. In Section 2, the House Bill notes, “However, nothing in this Act shall be construed to require the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child.” [HR 374, bill text; S 91, bill text] 

Webster Voted to Repeal Health Care Reform. On January 19, 2011 Webster voted for HR 2, a vote to repeal President Obama’s health care reform package. The vote passed, 245 to 189 but died in the Senate. [HR 2, Vote 14, 1/19/11]

  • Breast Cancer, Pregnancy No Longer “Pre-Existing Conditions”, Preventative Treatments Essential. The Affordable Care Act prohibits coverage denials and exclusions for women with “pre-existing conditions” including pregnancies, past C-sections, breast or cervical cancer, or past treatment for domestic or sexual violence. In addition, maternity and newborn care are included as essential benefits in health plans, and the following services are to be provided with no additional costs to women and girls: annual or biannual mammograms for women over 40, cervical cancer screenings, prenatal screenings and tests, diabetes and blood pressure screenings, depression screenings and smoking and alcohol cessation programs. [National Women’s Law Center: What Health Reform Means for Women in Iowa, accessed 5/10; National Women’s Law Center: How the Affordable Care Act Helps Women, accessed 1/23/12]
  • ACA Expanded Women’s Access to Insurance. Only half of working women are able to get health coverage through their jobs, compared to 57% of men. Under the Affordable Care Act, approximately 8.2 million uninsured women will gain health coverage from expanded Medicaid eligibility and up to another 11 million women who lack affordable insurance through an employer will be eligible for subsidies. Additionally, with the extension of parental coverage until age 26,  more than 10 million young women were able to retain insurance coverage. [Kaiser Family Foundation: Focus on Health Reform, 12/10; National Women’s Law Center: How the Affordable Care Act Helps Women, accessed 1/23/12; US Census 2010, accessed 1/23/12]

Webster Voted Against Considering Paycheck Fairness Act. On May 13, 2012 the House voted on debating and voting on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Webster and all other Republicans present voted for prohibiting the debate. The motion passed, 233-180. [H Res 667, 5/13/12]

  • Details on Paycheck Fairness Act: “The Paycheck Fairness Act updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 to ensure that it will provide effective protection against sex-based pay discrimination. Toward that end, the comprehensive bill bars retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages. It allows women to receive the same remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subject to discrimination based on race and ethnicity. And it also provides much needed training and technical assistance as well as data collection and research.” [National Women’s Law Center, 6/1/12]
  • Wage Gap Persists in Florida. In 2010, the average woman in Florida working full time, year round, was paid only 80 cents for every dollar paid to a man working full time, year round. [National Women’s Law Center, 4/2012]
  • Women of Color in Florida Hit Even Harder by Wage Gap. According to the National Women’s Law Center, African American women working full time, year round in Florida were paid only 61 cents and Hispanic women were paid only 57 cents, for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men who worked full time, year round. [National Women’s Law Center, 4/2012]
  • The Wage Gap’s Long Lasting Impact. Data shows that as a result of lower lifetime earnings, the average Social Security benefit for women 65 and older is about $12,100 per year, compared to $16,000 for men of the same age. [National Women’s Law Center, 4/2012]

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