Fighting for the Rights of Women


Bill has long fought on behalf of women’s rights since his days in the State House on Beacon Hill and as District Attorney for Norfolk County. His work on behalf of women extends from protecting their right to make decisions about their own healthcare, to working to end violence, to empowering women on a global scale.

One of Bill’s first initiatives after taking office was to form a Women’s Advisory Board.  Comprised of women from across the district, the Board provides insight on how to best serve and incorporate the female population of Massachusetts’ South Shore, South Coast, Cape and Islands. 

Bill has also used his role on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to elevate the issue of women’s access to education across the globe, as well as to highlight the important role they play on the frontlines of countering violent extremism. He understands that the most important investment we can make is in women world-wide. Bill is a consistent supporter of global health measures to support women’s access to contraceptives, pre-natal care, and maternal health initiatives no matter their location. 

  • Received 100% rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL for work to protect women’s access to healthcare coverage.
  • Consistently opposed legislation that would deny coverage or increase premiums for women based on pre-existing conditions.
  • Consistently opposed legislation that would restrict the rights of women to make decisions regarding their own healthcare.
  • As a long-time White Ribbon Ambassador, maintained critical funds to assist victims of domestic violence.
  • Cofounded the Congressional Lupus Caucus to raise awareness and advocate for increased research of Lupus.  Nine out of ten people with Lupus are women.
  • Worked with Chairman Royce of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to conduct a committee hearing on “Women’s Role in Countering Violent Extremism.”  The hearing, which was held on April 3, 2014, led to passage of the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act that increases the number of scholarships awarded to foreign women.
  • Offered an amendment to promote the end of forced child marriages worldwide.
  • Opposed all attempts as dividing women into categories based on ethnicity and sexual preference in the Violence Against Women Act, which finally led to the reauthorization of a comprehensive program to protect all women from predators and repeated abusers.