5 Women's Rights New Years' Resolutions For Congress To Live By This Year


When the 114th Congress convenes on Jan. 6, it will have a record-breaking number of women in the House. Unfortunately, that means that just under 20 percent of the seats are filled with female representatives, with the same percentage reflected in the Senate. While those numbers are still relatively dismal, I'm still taking solace in 2015 optimism. To start the calendar year right, I've devised a few women's rights New Year's resolutions for Congress. So choke down some black-eyed peas for luck, ladies. We're going to need it.

Yeah, there could be a hint of sarcasm clouding my hope, but with 2014 hailed by some as the year of the woman, we could finally have something to be optimistic about. Still, there were many times throughout 2014 that Congress tried to time travel to the 1960s. But with an increasing number of women reppin' at the national stage, let's hope that we'll break free of balding-white-man legislative pattern that we've been in since the America's democracy was birthed.

Could 2015 be the banner year for the ladies? Let's hope so. But to get us there, forget dieting, Congress, and stick to these resolutions first.

Bring back the Women's Health Protection Act

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In July 2014, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on the Women's Health Protection Act, which would block many of the state-level wars waged at abortion clinics. Introduced by Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Tammy Baldwin, the law would require states to regulate abortion clinics in the same way as other clinics and doctors providing comparable services. You know, a reasonable measure for a procedure that is consistently proven very safe by science.

Forget about Rolling Stone and focus on real solutions

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In 2014, the White House took a vested interest in reforming sexual assault policies on college campuses. That's good. And in June, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Claire McCaskill introduced the bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act, aimed at reducing sexual assault on college campuses. That's great. But Gillibrand rightfully feared that Rolling Stone's horrible journalism in the UVA rape story could give legislators pause. Don't let it. Don't let a magazine that named an iPhone invasive U2 album as its number one year end pick influence you. Keep chugging along with reform.

Don't use the National Women's History Museum as ammo

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It took 16 years, 16 years, to pass legislation for a National Women's History Museum. Just a few short weeks ago it passed the House and the Senate. Don't be proud of that, Congress. Just be relieved that you are not needlessly blocking it as your awful predecessors have done. Here is what you need to remember — the only thing you have achieved by finally dedicating a building just to women is being a decent governing body. And if I hear anything about a Men's History Museum I will gladly take you on a tour of every other collection in D.C. Because that's what they are.

Don't. Be. Sexist.

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Congressmens' looks are not constantly scrutinized. Please, for the love of God, give that same respect to the women in the chamber. Women are smart. Women can be attractive and smart. Or maybe you don't think they're attractive. But here's the thing: it doesn't matter. Let women do their job. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand went on the warpath against the rampant sexism she faced during her career in the Senate. Let's not let that happen again, please. And watch out, there will be more women this year!

Leave the Affordable Care Act alone

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You remember the "LEAVE BRITNEY ALOOOONE" guy? That's me. Right now. Please stop it, Congress. Despite Republicans' insistence that two-year-old act will be repealed, just let it stay. The ACA has been one of the greatest advances in women's health, expanding care for mothers and older women, family planning services, and supporting comprehensive sex education for teens. It is a good thing. It is working. Now find something else to whine about, or, better yet, maybe let's get something positive done!

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