On the eve of the Women’s March, I must reflect on Elise Stefanik’s record on women’s issues.
After voting repeatedly to defund Planned Parenthood (a major provider of health care for women in her district), voting against the Paycheck Fairness Act (to help ensure equal pay for equal work), and voting against the Violence against Women Act (to end domestic violence), she recently co-sponsored a bill to put a female image on a coin.
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The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act which, according to Stefanik’s website, “authorizes the Department of Treasury to mint 400,000 $1 silver coins in 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and ensures that the suffragists who dedicated their lives to fighting for women’s fundamental right to vote are celebrated throughout the United States.”
The irony of her sponsorship is many-fold. Not only has she consistently voted against women’s interests, but her Republican Party is the architect of voter suppression throughout the nation and is doing nothing to protect elections from foreign interference. In addition, Stefanik supports a president who has been credibly accused of predatory behavior by more than a dozen women. His treasury secretary has delayed putting Harriet Tubman’s image on the $20 bill by as much as six years — or maybe never, he says. And 400,000 coins is negligible, considering there are close to three million $1 coins currently in circulation.
There’s a pattern among abusers of roughing up their wives, then buying them a gift to apologize, often a new dress to pretty up the bruises. Stefanik’s attempt to garner women’s support is too little, too late. The damage she inflicts on women’s equality will have far-reaching implications for generations. So, you can keep the new dress, Elise. Your token gestures are no compensation for your oppressive legislation.
Patricia Nugent, Hadley