"The first bill I signed was something called the Lilly Ledbetter bill. And it's named after this amazing woman who had been doing the same job as a man for years, found out that she was getting paid less, and the Supreme Court said that she couldn't bring suit because she should have found out about it earlier, whereas she had no way of finding out about it. So we fixed that. And that's an example of the kind of advocacy that we need, because women are increasingly the breadwinners in the family."
"We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women."
"In my health care bill, I said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who is insured. Because this is not just a — a health issue, it's an economic issue for women. It makes a difference. This is money out of that family's pocket. Governor Romney not only opposed it, he suggested that in fact, employers should be able to make the decision as to whether or not a woman gets contraception through her insurance coverage."
"I don't know how these guys come up with these ideas. . . . Rape is rape. It is a crime. And so, these various distinctions about rape don't make too much sense to me, don't make any sense to me. This is exactly why you don't want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women's health care decisions."
"As president, I will end federal funding for abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood. Look, the idea that we're subsidizing an institution which is providing abortion, in my view, is wrong. Planned Parenthood ought to stand on their own feet, and should not get government subsidy."
"It is fitting that with the very first bill I sign — the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — we are upholding one of this nation's first principles: that we are all created equal and each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness."
"I would like to see each state be able to make its own decision regarding abortion rather than have a one-size-fits-all blanket pronouncement by the Supreme Court."
— On overturning Roe v. Wade
"When it comes to a woman's right to make her own healthcare choices, they want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century. Colorado, you got to make sure it doesn't happen. The decisions that affect a woman's health, they're not up to politicians. They're not up to insurance companies. They're up to you."
"Now, there are other things that are at stake — who gets seated on the Supreme Court? Are we going to allow ourselves to go back to a time when politicians in Washington are telling women how to make healthcare decisions? Michelle tells me you guys are actually quite capable of making those decisions by yourself."
"Right now, women are a growing number of breadwinners in the household. But they're still earning just 77 cents for every dollar a man does — even less if you're an African American or Latina woman. Overall, a woman with a college degree doing the same work as a man will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars less over the course of her career. So closing this pay gap — ending pay discrimination — is about far more than simple fairness. When more women are bringing home the bacon, but bringing home less of it than men who are doing the same work, that weakens families. It weakens communities; it's tough on our kids; it weakens our entire economy."
"The views expressed were offensive. Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn't make sense to the American people and certainly doesn't make sense to me. So what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making healthcare decisions on behalf of women."
"But equal pay is by no means just a women's issue — it's a family issue. It's about parents who find themselves with less money for tuition or child care; couples who wind up with less to retire on; households where, when one breadwinner is paid less than she deserves, that's the difference between affording the mortgage — or not; between keeping the heat on, or paying the doctor's bills — or not."