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Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla.
Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla.Michael Brochstein / Sipa USA via AP file

Democratic Women's Caucus announces new leadership

The group says it's the most diverse leadership team to lead the Democratic Women's Caucus as the party focuses significantly on abortion access.


The Democratic Women’s Caucus unveiled its new leadership team on Wednesday, which includes Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., as chair; Rep. Nikema Williams, D-Ga., as vice chair; and Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, D-N.M., as the group’s other vice chair.

It’s the most racially, ethnically and ideologically diverse slate to lead all 94 Democratic women elected to Congress, the group says, adding that the history-making moment can be attributed to one issue: the fight for reproductive freedom.

“The past election made crystal clear the power of women’s voices and women’s votes, and the Democratic Women’s Caucus won’t let anyone forget that,” said Frankel, group’s new chair, in a statement to NBC News.

“Whether working with House Colleagues, the Biden-Harris Administration, or the Democratic Senate Majority, the Democratic Women’s Caucus will keep fighting so every woman can thrive–no matter her ZIP Code, no matter her bank account,” said Vice Chair Williams in a press release.

Over the last few weeks, the caucus met with White House advisers to press the administration on executive action surrounding abortion rights ahead a ruling in a high-stakes lawsuit that seeks to overturn the FDA’s approval of a widely-used abortion pill. Vice President Kamala Harris said last week the administration has been focused “since Day 1” on expanding access to abortion care, including medication abortion.

“During our meeting, we discussed the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing work to prepare for the court decision, and the critical fight ahead to safeguard women’s health care decisions in the face of such extreme attacks,” Frankel said afterward in a statement.

There's no shortage of powerful caucuses on Capitol Hill, including the Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic, Black, and Asian Pacific American Caucuses, which are predominately made up of Democratic members. With nearly one-quarter of all House lawmakers Democratic women, the caucusmembers see themselves as a backstop to Republican-led efforts on the House floor that could further rollback protections for reproductive, transgender rights, and other issues.

“The Democratic Women’s Caucus is here to make clear: not on our watch,” said Leger Fernandez, a former attorney for Native American tribes in New Mexico.

“In every room, at every hearing, in every debate—both in the halls of Congress and across the country— we will fight for access to abortion, equal pay for equal work, and critical investments in caregiving and health care,” she said.