With all due respect to the Governors of California and New York, Pat Quinn is the greatest champion of women and children of any sitting Governor. And Illinois voters should take note when voting in 2014.
The ongoing assaults in other states on women in health care, in the workplace and in government are escalating with each passing day. These attacks include: attempts to de-fund and shut down Planned Parenthood; forced ultrasounds before a woman can obtain an abortion; requiring insurance companies to refuse coverage for birth control and abortion; outright refusal to give rape victims information about emergency contraception in hospital emergency rooms following an assault; the lack of equal pay laws coupled with no family medical leave; and legislation to make abortion illegal, unsafe and unavailable to millions of women. These are just some of the horrible circumstances now a reality in other states where anti-woman Governors rule. Think of the nightmares that are Rick Perry's Texas or Scott Walker's Wisconsin and you'll get the picture.
Not in our Illinois. Not with our Governor Pat Quinn. In Governor Quinn's Illinois, women and children are treated with respect and dignity -- not attacked, denigrated and humiliated.
Governor Quinn's leadership across a board spectrum of initiatives and laws to promote the safety, prosperity and well-being of women and children is unparalleled over his brief tenure in office.
• Fought for and signed the law (HB 3634) amending the Equal Pay Act to give victims of underpayment more time to address their claims and make Illinois consistent with the national Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
• Launched the innovative Birth to Five Initiative providing prenatal care and early childhood support to ensure healthy babies in these critical early years.
• Pushed and signed into law the Comprehensive Sexuality Education bill (HB 2675) requiring medically accurate information in public schools to reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease rates.
• Signed SB 1037, helping victims of sex trafficking rebuild their lives.
• Made assisting victims of sexual assault and providing sexual assault prevention a top priority in signing HB 1645.
• Signed legislation eliminating the statute of limitations on civil and criminal child sexual abuse (SB 1399 and HB 1063) giving victims all the time they need to file lawsuits against predators.
Quinn is a leading advocate of earned sick leave for 2.5 million Illinois workers of which 78 percent are working mothers and for ending discrimination against women who seek orders of protection from violent partners. Quinn launched the first ever Women Owned Business Symposium. Quinn is a champion of funding for Planned Parenthood to ensure that as many women as possible have access to the full range of reproductive health care. Pat Quinn is 100 percent pro-choice, believing that women, not politicians, should be making their own medical decisions about family planning and abortion.
Illinois voters would be foolish to take for granted the extraordinary leadership and commitment to women, children and healthy families that Governor Quinn has demonstrated. We are extremely fortunate to have him leading the great state of Illinois. And let's not forget that. Otherwise, Illinois could end up treating women more like Wisconsin, Texas and Indiana.