The Virginia Women’s Equality Coalition unveiled its 2018 legislative agenda Monday. It includes paid family leave, equal pay, and no cost birth control.
Tarina Keene is Executive Director for NARAL Pro Choice Virginia. For the first time in her 15 plus years advocating for women’s healthcare, Republicans don’t have a dominant majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates.
Keene says that’s good news for her organization’s agenda, which includes guaranteeing free birth control to insured Virginians.
“We know that the voters are saying we’re tired to playing politics with women’s health, and women’s lives and let’s have a real discussion,” said Keene.
Other items on the agenda are economic, like mandating an employer provide paid family and sick leave, plus raising the minimum wage.
Margie Del Castillo, with the Virginia Latina Advocacy Network, says $7.25 an hour doesn’t cut it.
“You can imagine raising a family in Roanoke, Richmond, Alexandria or Newport News -- having to pay for childcare, worrying about healthcare coverage, or simply putting food on the table for your family. It’s near impossible,” said Del Castillo.
Also on the table for the organizations: expanding Medicaid.