Pat Schroeder was a pioneer.
In her 24 years in Congress, she seized every opportunity to advance equality for women, and the laws she helped pass fundamentally reshaped our country for the better.
The 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which protected women from being fired for having children.
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which allowed millions of women and men to care for family members without losing their jobs.
The opening of military jobs – including flying combat missions – to women.
More access to early screening for breast and cervical cancer for lower-income women.
On issue after issue, Pat stood up for basic fairness, sensible policy, and women’s equal humanity. The result was a legislative record that changed millions of women’s lives – and men’s lives – for the better.
I saw firsthand Pat’s moral compass, legal mind, and political savvy when we worked together on the Violence Against Women Act. She was the primary sponsor in the House; I led the charge in the Senate. Together, we got it done. With Pat as my partner, I never doubted that we would.
She inspired a generation of public servants, proved that a young mom could be a formidable Congresswoman, and did it all with legendary wit.
Jill and I send our prayers to Pat’s husband James, her children Jamie and Scott, and the entire Schroeder family.