Issue One commemorates the life of former Congresswoman Patricia “Pat” Schroeder (D-CO), a member of Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of more than 200 former members of Congress, governors, and Cabinet secretaries united to fix America’s broken political system.
Congresswoman Schroeder died on March 13. She was 82 years old.
A renowned feminist and progressive champion, Congresswoman Schroeder held a long and distinguished career in the House of Representatives. She was the first woman elected to Congress from Colorado and the first to serve on the Armed Services Committee. She was also a pilot and a Harvard-trained lawyer.
In Congress, Congresswoman Schroeder championed a range of issues, including family leave, pregnancy discrimination, reproductive rights, and other progressive causes. She helped pass legislation such as the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which barred employers from dismissing women because of pregnancy and from denying them maternity benefits. Similarly, she helped reform spousal pensions, opened many military jobs to women, and forced federally funded medical researchers to include women in their studies. During her 24-year tenure in Congress, she called for arms control, reduced military spending, and opposed the Vietnam War. Congresswoman Schroeder was also a founding member of the first congressional women’s caucus.
Congresswoman Schroeder was a courageous and visionary leader who redefined the role of women in the history of American politics. She served in Congress until retiring at age 56, leaving a legacy as a trailblazing women’s rights advocate and lawmaker.
As we remember her exceptional life and legacy, we extend our support to all those who mourn the passing of Congresswoman Schroeder.