Women and Families

Advocating for Women and Families

Senator Casey has long advocated for policies to ensure that women can be full participants in America’s economy, supporting access to childcare and paid family leave, seeking an end to discrimination against pregnant women, and advocating for equal pay for equal work. As a member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, the Committee on Finance and Special Committee on Aging, Senator Casey has had the opportunity to write legislation and influence policy impacting women in Pennsylvania.

  • Protecting pregnant workers: Senator Casey is the author of the bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to ensure that pregnant workers are given reasonable accommodations in the workplace to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

  • Supporting families’ caregiving needs: Senator Casey strongly supports that ability to workers to earn and use family leave and sick leave.? He is an original cosponsor of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, legislation to create a new national program to provide workers with up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for new children or sick family members.?Senator Casey is also a cosponsor of Senator Murray’s Healthy Families Act which would allow workers to earn paid sick days (1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked), up to 7 days a year.

  • Providing flexibility for working families: Senator Casey authored the Flexibility for Working Families Act to provide employees with more options to request flexibility in scheduling to meet the needs of their families.

  • Ending the gender pay gap: Senator Casey has cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 270), which would increase penalties for employers who pay different wages to men and women for equal work. Senator Casey also voted in favor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which closed a loophole to ensure that victims of pay discrimination would have legal recourse against those who discriminated against them.

  • Support for pregnant women: Senator Casey’s program, the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, was included in the Affordable Care Act. This program has provided $250 million over ten years to support pregnant and parenting teens and young women as they work to complete their education.

  • Combating domestic and sexual violence: Senator Casey has fought for programs that support victims of violence and authored legislation to improve how colleges and universities respond to sexual assault. This legislation, the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, was signed into law in 2013 as a part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. He is also the author of the Safe Equitable Campus Resources and Education Act, which would ensure that the needs of individuals with disabilities are included in campus planning and response to incidents of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, and that materials provided to the campus community are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

  • Championing early learning and child care: Senator Casey recognizes that children need early learning opportunities to succeed and grow to their full potential. Study after study shows that investments in enhancing learning opportunities for our youngest children are absolutely critical to a child’s success, as well as that of their parents. Senator Casey has consistently led the fight to increase funding for early learning and child care programs including Head Start, the Child Care and Development Block Grant, and Preschool Development Grants. He has also introduced legislation to improve and expand early education and child care. His legislation to align early learning and grade school programs, the Continuum of Learning Act, was included in the Every Student Succeeds Act in December 2015. Senator Casey introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act (S.1806) with Senator Murray, legislation that would establish a new federal-state funding partnership to provide high-quality, affordable child care from birth through age 13. He also introduced the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Enhancement Act (S. 470). The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit helps individuals and families pay for care for a child, spouse or other dependent. Senator Casey’s bill will increase and expand access to this credit, so that it is available to more working families.

  • Support for family planning: Senator Casey has consistently supported access to contraception, including funding for the Title X National Family Planning Program, and has opposed efforts to defund nonprofits that provide important health care options to women.

Resources for Pennsylvania women:

  • If you need health insurance and are under age 65, please visit the health insurance marketplace at www.healthcare.gov for information on how to find health insurance, when to enroll, determine your family’s eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP or a subsidy for private insurance, and other resources. Open season, when anyone can enroll, occurs annually in November and December, but you may be able to enroll at another time if you experience a change like losing another source of insurance, getting married/divorced or having a baby. You can also call 1-800-318-2596, or find local help at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/#intro.


  • Casey, Collins Introduce Bill to Expand Nutrition Assistance for Children and Mothers

    Recently, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced a bill to extend nutrition assistance for vulnerable infants, children and mothers across the country. The Wise Investment in our Children (WIC) Act would address a gap in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) that kicks young children off vital nutrition assistance before they are eligible to start school. The WIC Act would also give states the option to certify infants and postpartum mothers for two years, which would reduce duplicative paperwork and allow program administrators to focus on providing services such as nutrition counseling and breastfeeding support. Read More

  • Casey To Every Single PA College: What Are You Doing To Address Campus Sexual Assault?

    In an effort to ensure that students across Pennsylvania have a safe learning environment, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), primary author of the Campus SaVE Act, which was enacted as a part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, is pressing 123 colleges and universities in the Commonwealth to ensure that they have adequate policies in place to prevent campus sexual assault. Specifically, Casey is requesting information about institutions' efforts to fight this epidemic. Read More

  • Casey Introduces Legislation to Provide Critical Funding For Pregnant Mothers

    U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced new legislation to reauthorize mandatory funding at $25 million for the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) for five years, through 2024. The PAF program is a vital health and human services program that delivers funding for states and tribal entities so they can provide essential services directed to youth who are pregnant and parenting, to pregnant women who have experienced sexual violence and other vulnerable individuals who are expectant or new parents. Read More

  • Casey, Murkowski Introduce Bill to Support Survivors of Domestic Violence

    U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) recently introduced the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act (S. 2259), which would enhance and expand support, protection and prevention for Americans affected by family violence, domestic violence and dating violence. More than 10 million people in the United States are abused each year, and more than one third of women and men in America report that they experienced sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The bill strengthens and updates the National Domestic Violence Hotline to better serve underserved populations, such as people who are deaf or hard of hearing, expands prevention efforts and creates a new program that provides resources for underserved populations. Read More

  • Casey, Dingell, Hassan Continue Fight Against Campus Sexual Assault

    Although great strides have been made in advancing protections against sexual violence on college campuses, students with disabilities still suffer a disproportionate number of violent sexual crimes. A recent Last year, a report from the National Council on Disability, "Not on the Radar: Sexual Assault of College Students with Disabilities," found that the needs of these students are often not addressed under existing policies. To address this gap and build upon the work of the landmark Jeanne Clery Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced the Safe Equitable Campus Resources and Education (SECuRE) Act. Read More

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