On The Issues

Women’s Rights

Women’s rights are universal rights that make us all more free.

We need to honor the contributions of Wisconsin women, and recognize that women’s rights aren’t just personal civil rights, women’s rights aren’t just the economic rights of a family, women’s rights are universal rights that make us all more free.” -Russ Feingold


Protecting women’s access to health care

Russ trusts women to make their own healthcare decisions with their doctors. He’s been a lifelong advocate for women’s health and access to care, and is proud to have the endorsements of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL, and Wisconsin’s chapter of the National Organization for Women.

In the Senate, Russ voted to expand access to family planning services1 and to make emergency contraception more widely available.2 And Russ supported the Affordable Care Act, which prevents insurance providers from denying coverage or charging more simply because of gender.

Looking forward, we need to stand up for Planned Parenthood and other health providers from relentless and divisive partisan attacks. In addition, we need to increase access to women’s health services, build on our Supreme Court victory in Whole Women’s Health to make sure that states never pass “TRAP” laws that do nothing to protect women’s health and are designed solely to prevent women from receiving health care.

Enacting paid family leave

Congress must make paid family leave a reality because doing so would be good, not only for Wisconsin families but for the economy as a whole.

Russ has worked to improve access to family and medical leave for decades. In 1993, he co-sponsored the original legislation that established family leave.3 He sponsored a bill to give military spouses more flexibility to care for their children and loved ones,4 and he cosponsored legislation to provide paid sick leave for workers to care for themselves and their family members.5

Fighting for pay equity and equal protection

Russ believes that all people should have an equal opportunity to succeed in the workplace and that everyone should be paid fairly. Doing so is good for Wisconsin businesses, Wisconsin workers, and Wisconsin families.

Russ supported the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and  was a cosponsor on the Paycheck Fairness Act,6 which would better protect women from workplace wage discrimination. And if elected, Russ would again strongly support passage of paycheck fairness legislation.



1 https://www.congress.gov/amendment/109th-congress/senate-amendment/244;      http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists
2 https://www.congress.gov/bill/111th-congress/senate-bill/2904
3 https://www.congress.gov/bill/103rd-congress/senate-bill/5
4 https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/senate-bill/1649/cosponsors
5 https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-congress/senate-bill/1085/cosponsors
6 https://www.congress.gov/bill/111th-congress/senate-bill/3772/cosponsors

Download PDF of this Issue

Russ for Wisconsin -- Women's Rights