“Women are not a special interest group. Women are over half the population of the United States and should be treated that way. We cannot let disparities between men and women persist. When our women and girls succeed, society succeeds.” - Congressman Ben Ray Luján
Women’s Health Care
With one fifth of New Mexican women living at or below the federal poverty line and 14 percent lacking health insurance, women face unique challenges to accessing health care. As we work to expand health care coverage for Americans, we must ensure that women’s health care needs—including reproductive care—are included and protected.
Congressman Luján strongly supports the right of women to make educated decisions regarding their own health and well-being. Moreover, we must allow women to choose the provider with whom they feel most comfortable. The Congressman believes that all individuals, no matter how much money they make, where they live, or how they are insured, deserve access to health care, including comprehensive reproductive health care. Congressman Luján will continue to support critical health programs, preventative services, and evidence-based health care.
From supporting the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored protections against pay discrimination, to being an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which strengthens the Equal Pay Act, Congressman Luján is proud to join the fight for equal pay. Equal pay for equal work is not just a slogan; it's necessary for the health, growth, and prosperity of our families and our economy. It’s also simply the right thing to do—a women should never earn less for the same work a man does.
Protecting Survivors of Domestic Violence
Congressman Luján is a cosponsor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2018, as well as the Violence Against Women Veterans Act and the Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act. He was also a cosponsor the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which President Obama signed into law in March 2013. This legislation provided tribes with the ability to investigate and prosecute all domestic violence, dating violence, and violations of protective orders that occur on their lands by clarifying jurisdictional issues in existing law. It also expanded essential protections to cover LGBT victims, immigrants, and victims of human trafficking. Millions of women have found protection from VAWA, and its reauthorization strengthened this important act, ensuring it could continue to help women across the country.
Additionally, Congressman Luján cosponsored the Pet and Women Safety Act, to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence from emotional and psychological trauma caused by violence against their pets. Multiple studies have shown that domestic abusers often seek to manipulate or intimidate their victims by threatening or harming their pets, but only three percent of domestic violence shelters across the country accept pets.
Protecting Native American Women
Three out of five Native American women are assaulted in their lifetimes. On some reservations, Native women are murdered at a rate more than 10 times the national average. These are more than heartbreaking statistics. These numbers represent moms, sisters, daughters, aunts, cousins, and countless friends and lives marred by senseless violence. To address the community’s unique needs, Congressman Luján signed a letter requesting help in addressing long-standing disparities that have denied Native American and Alaska Natives (AIAN) victims of crime equal access to the assistance received by other entities in our country.