Jennifer is a strong advocate for women’s rights. She believes women’s health care decisions should be made between a woman and her doctor, and has continuously fought to keep government out of those decisions. In the State Senate, Jennifer fought against the Republicans’ undue restrictions on abortion, championing legislation that would remove unconstitutional barriers to access like unnecessary waiting periods and TRAP laws targeting women’s health clinics.
In the State Senate, Jennifer created several new laws that have expanded women’s rights in Virginia. She wrote and passed a law that finally gave mothers the right to breastfeed in public. She created a landmark law that allows victims of revenge porn and surreptitious photos to sue their perpetrator for damages, and sponsored a bill to ensure women must not only receive equal pay but also equal benefits without being fired for asking about salaries.
Jennifer supported Virginia’s efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. Constitution while in the State Senate, and in Congress she urged her Virginia colleagues to hold a vote on the subject. She was also an advocate in Congress and voted to pass a House Resolution to eliminate the deadline for ratification. Jennfier was overjoyed to see Virginia’s General Assembly finally succeed in ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in January 2020, and to serve as Speaker pro Tempore during floor debate on the ERA extension on the House floor.
In Congress, Jennifer continues to be a true advocate for women. She supports legislation that expands women’s access to quality, affordable healthcare, family planning services, and contraception, establishes paid family and medical leave programs, ends violence against women, and promotes women’s involvement in STEM and political fields.
In 2019, she fought for women’s financial security and voted to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act in the House of Representatives, legislation that would strengthen and close loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act, including providing remedies for women who are not being paid equal pay for equal work. Jennifer continues to advocate for eliminating the wage gap that hurts women and their families across our country and disproportionately impacts women of color.
Jennifer is proud to have the support of leading women’s advocacy groups such as EMILY’s List, NARAL, National Organization for Women, and Planned Parenthood. She was humbled in 2019 to also receive the annual Hope Award from Calvary Women’s Services for her decades of work to end domestic violence.