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We Can't Wait Until Beyonce is Almost 80 for the Wage Gap to Close

Posted by Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment | Posted on: April 14, 2015 at 11:14 am

Originally posted on Higher Heights for America's website.

It’s Equal Pay Day, April 14th. Equal Pay Day is the symbolic date that marks the time in the year when the wages of women who work full time, year round finally catch up to the wages of men. The date is pegged to the overall wage gap for women—when the wages for all men and women are compared, women make just 78 cents on the dollar.

That overall statistic masks even larger disparities for women of color. African American women are paid a whopping 64 percent of the salaries paid to their white, male counterparts. This pay gap, which amounts to a loss of $18,650 a year, means that African American women have to work nearly 19 more months—almost until the end of July—just to make as much as white, non-Hispanic men did in the previous year alone. 

Here are five more facts about the wage gap that are equally stunning:

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Five Pictures For Equal Pay Day

Posted by Anne Morrison, Fellow | Posted on: April 14, 2015 at 09:42 am

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but how much is that in dollars? Today is Equal Pay Day, which marks the fact that it takes women more than 15 months to earn what men make in just one year.  To “celebrate” we thought we’d share with you 5 pictures that highlight the importance of achieving equal pay for women.

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Multimillionaires Win, Moms Lose: House Leaders’ Plan for Tax Day

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: April 13, 2015 at 12:08 pm

Millions of Americans will be filing their taxes this week. House Republican leaders are planning to mark the occasion by scheduling a vote to give a lavish tax break to the wealthiest 0.2 percent by repealing the federal estate tax.

Estates worth up to $5.4 million for an individual ($10.9 million for a couple) are already completely exempt from the estate tax, so repealing the estate tax would only benefit the very largest estates—about 5,400 nationwide this year. They’ll get an average tax break of over $3 million. And the uber-rich—those with estates worth over $50 million—do even better, with tax breaks averaging than $20 million each.

Cost of this giveaway to the heirs of the richest 0.2 percent? $269 billion [PDF] over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

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Tennessee Defeats Bill that Would Have Expanded Prosecutions of Pregnant Women

Posted by Kelli Garcia, Senior Counsel | Posted on: April 10, 2015 at 04:05 pm

Tennessee lawmakers took a small step in the right direction earlier this week when they stopped a bill that would have expanded a controversial law that criminalizes drug use during pregnancy. Despite overwhelming consensus that addiction should be treated as a mental health problem, not a criminal issue, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to criminalize drug use during pregnancy when it passed a law last year that allows women to be charged with a misdemeanor and punished with up to 15 years in prison if their newborn tests positive for narcotic drugs.

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Montana House Passes Telemedicine Abortion Ban, Imposing Substantial Costs on Women

Posted by Rachel Parker, Intern | Posted on: April 10, 2015 at 09:55 am

As if living in a remote area miles from a large city wasn’t enough of a barrier, legislators in the state of Montana are seeking to make abortion even less accessible. In March, the Montana House of Representatives voted in favor of a ban on telemedicine abortions. The bill is currently in the Montana Senate and a vote is expected soon. “We all know what this bill is about,” Representative Elli Hill commented, explaining that although proposed under the guise of health and safety, the ban actually seeks to make abortion less accessible to women in remote areas of the state.

Medication abortions administered through telemedicine are as safe and effective as in-person abortions. With telemedicine, a doctor provides a medication abortion to a patient at a local clinic via a live video conference. Telemedicine increases access to abortion, permitting some women to have an abortion earlier in their pregnancy. This actually increases safety and reduces costs. Although abortion is an extremely safe procedure, the risk of complications and the costs of the procedure do increase with each week of pregnancy.

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New Fact Sheet Outlines the Latest Legislative Developments in the Movement for Fair Work Schedules

There is a growing movement across our nation for fair work schedules. This movement is spurred by women like Hilaria Bonilla, a single mother, who testified in a hearing on Maryland’s fair work schedules bill [PDF] about the consequences to her family of an extremely difficult work schedule. She has worked for her employer for more than a decade and earns only $11 per hour. Getting only one week’s notice of her schedule makes it extremely difficult for Ms. Bonilla to be involved in her 10 year old daughter’s school or to make doctor’s appointments for herself or her daughter. Despite having asked not to work nights, she is routinely assigned to the night shift. Ms. Bonilla testified that having more notice and more of a say in when she works would make all the difference to her ability to care for her daughter.

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Abortion Coverage Ban Would Harm Texas Women

Posted by Kelli Garcia, Senior Counsel | Posted on: April 08, 2015 at 10:49 am

Once again, Texas politicians are trying to make it harder for women to access abortion. Today, the Texas House State Affairs Committee will hear testimony regarding HB 3130 which would prohibit health insurance plans sold in the marketplace from covering abortion, except when a woman’s life is in danger or to prevent “irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, other than a psychological or emotional condition.” 

This overly narrow exception ignores the real circumstances women face when deciding whether or not to continue a pregnancy. By denying women coverage for abortion, the bill cruelly punishes women by making it harder for them to access this needed health care service and will disproportionately harm lower-income women who may be unable to afford an abortion without insurance coverage.   

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Asian American Women Deserve Fair Pay

Posted by Anne Morrison, Fellow | Posted on: April 08, 2015 at 10:39 am

This week we mark Asian American women’s equal pay day, the day that represents how many extra days an Asian American woman typically has to work to earn what a white, non-Hispanic man typically earns in one year. American women who work full time, year round are typically paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. The wage gap is a penny better for Asian American women--among full-time, year-round workers, Asian American women typically make 79 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. However, focusing on the aggregate obscures the full story. The wage gap varies among subgroups of Asian American women with some groups of Asian American women making substantially less.

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