Record of Achievement

Hillary’s Fight for Women’s Rights

Hillary, a self-identified feminist, has fought for women's equality, reproductive rights, equal pay, child care, and family medical leave. Here are some highlights:

  • Hillary is a strong supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. As a Senator she was a co-sponsor of the ERA, voted for the Lily Ledbetter Act, was lead sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2005, 2007, and 2009, and supported legislation to provide workers with paid sick leave.

  • In August, 1987, Hillary was selected as the first Chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession. “Its mission is (was) to secure the full and equal participation of women in the ABA, the legal profession, and the justice system.” In the words of the ABA, ” Hillary Rodham Clinton set the pace for the Commission to change the face of the legal profession by issuing a groundbreaking report in 1988 showing that women lawyers were not advancing at a satisfactory rate. She instituted a Gender Equality Report Card within the ABA.

  • Hillary Clinton is a life-long fighter for women’s reproductive health and rights, including the right to abortion, and vigorously supports the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v Wade. She has strongly opposed, and has repeatedly fought, Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and restrict access to safe, legal abortion and contraception.

  • As First Lady, Hillary supported the FDA approval of mifepristone, also known as the abortion pill, which was approved during President Bill Clinton’s second term.

  • She supported the passage of the Violence Against Women Act and the creation of the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. As Secretary of State, Hillary also led efforts for a UN Resolution establishing guidelines for an international response to sexual assault in conflict areas.

  • Hillary championed the Supreme Court Appointment of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by President Clinton.

  • As a Senator, Hillary co-sponsored legislation with Senator Harry Reid to expand Medicaid eligibility for family planning services.

  • Hillary waged a multi-year effort to make emergency contraception available over-the-counter. She used her power in the Senate, together with Senator Patty Murray, to win FDA approval for over-the-counter emergency contraception. She has consistently co-sponsored and voted for legislation that expands access to birth control, family planning and sex education.

  • While in the Senate, Hillary earned from both the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL ProChoice America a 100% voting record on reproductive rights issue.

  • As First Lady, during an address before the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, Hillary declared, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights.” This speech was heard around the world and inspired women activists globally. After the conference, together with the Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, First Lady Clinton established the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative to promote the advancement of women as a foreign policy goal.

  • As Secretary of State, Hillary created the Office of Global Women’s Issues within the State Department and appointed Melanne Verveer as the first U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. Hillary made women’s issues and the advancement, education, and health care of women and girls a major foreign policy priority. She recognized that the advancement of women was necessary for the economic and political health and well-being of a nation. As she left office, President Obama moved to make this position permanent.

  • Hillary Clinton traveled more than any Secretary of State in history at that time and she frequently addressed women’s issues, inspired women, and worked to improve the status of women and girls globally. After Hillary left the State Department she founded Vital Voices Global Partnership as a independent non-governmental organization to promote economic, social and political advancement of women. To date Vital Voices has trained 14,000 women from 144 nations as emerging leaders from 144 nations.

Hillary’s Fight for Civil Rights for People of Color and the LGBT Community

  • Shortly after law school, Hillary became a staff attorney for the newly founded Children’s Defense Fund under the leadership of Marian Wright Edelman. She worked on challenges to private schools in Alabama and Georgia, which were set up to avoid desegregation yet granted non-profit status by the Nixon administration.

  • In 1978, Hillary became the first women to chair the Legal Services Corporation, which was formed in 1974 by Congress to provide civil legal assistance to low-income people who otherwise could not afford it.

  • As First Lady she was a supporter of Affirmative Action for people of color and women and has continued that support.

  • As a Senator, Hillary had a 96% NAACP voting record.

  • Senator Hillary Clinton voted NO on a constitutional ban against same sex marriage, voted YES on adding sex and sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes, and co-sponsored legislation providing benefits to domestic partners of federal employees.

  • As Secretary of State, Hillary, shortly after she assumed office, announced extending benefits to the same sex partners of diplomats.

  • As Secretary of State, Hillary fought for LGBT rights worldwide.  In a December, 2011 speech at a U.N. event in Switzerland before foreign ministers, ambassadors, excellencies and U.N. partners from around the world in recognition of International Human Rights Day, Hillary dedicated her remarks to LGBT rights and declared,

    “…I want to talk about the difficult and important issues we must address together to reach a global consensus that recognizes the human rights of LGBT citizens everywhere…. Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”

Hillary’s Fight for Children’s Rights

  • Hillary’s fight for children’s rights, issues, and policies began in college and continued in law school and throughout her career.

  • Hillary became a staff attorney after law school at the Children Defense Fund, the leading nonpartisan research and advocacy organization for children. Later she served on its Board of Directors and for several years was the Chair of the Board.

  • In 1977, then attorney Hillary Rodham co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, a non-profit organization advocating for public policies benefiting children and families. While Arkansas First Lady, she introduced the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program to help parents to prepare their children for kindergarten. HIPPY now operates in 21 states and the District of Columbia. As Arkansas First Lady Hillary worked to expand Arkansas Children’s Hospital. It became one of the 10 biggest children’s hospitals in the nation.

  • As FLOTUS she played a major role in the bipartisan effort to pass the Foster Care Independence Act (1997). It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Also as FLOTUS, Hillary worked successfully in a bipartisan effort to pass the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Hillary helped to create and guide through Congress SCHIP which today provides health care for 8-9 million low-income kids.

  • In 2007, Senator Clinton called for a national pre-K initiative to provide funding to states to establish high-quality pre-K programs, including providing no cost pre-K to low-income and/or limited English-speaking families. Today Hillary advocates for Universal Pre-Kindergarten.

“Hillary Clinton has fought her entire life to create opportunity and prosperity for American families, small businesses and individuals.”

U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono

“With her proven history of leadership, strong environmental record, and a campaign committed to building a clean energy future, Hillary Clinton is without a doubt the most effective leader to stand up to Big Polluters and push forward an aggressive plan to tackle climate change and get it done.”

Gene Karpinski, President of League of Conservation Voters Action Fund

“Women and girls, at long last, deserve a feminist woman in the White House whom we can count on to fight for us every day.”

Katherine Spillar, Executive Director, Feminist Majority

“Hillary Clinton is a lifelong champion for women and families and the most qualified candidate to be president. … No one will work harder than Hillary. She knows how to lead so Washington fights for all Americans. As president, Hillary will create more opportunities than ever for women and girls and for all hardworking Americans across the country, just as she has done throughout her exceptional career.”

Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY’s List