Congresswoman Louise Slaughter Dies At 88

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Courtesy of Louise Slaughter.
Rep. Louise Slaughter, the first woman to represent Western New York in Congress, has died. She was 88.
The New York Democrat fell at her Washington, D.C. residence last week and sustained an injury, according to her office. She was taken to George Washington University Hospital, where she passed away early Friday morning surrounded by her family.
“To have met Louise Slaughter is to have known a force of nature. She was a relentless advocate for Western New York whose visionary leadership brought infrastructure upgrades, technology and research investments, and two federal manufacturing institutes to Rochester that will transform the local economy for generations to come. As the first chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, Louise blazed a path that many women continue to follow," Slaughter's chief of staff Liam Fitzsimmons said in a statement provided to Refinery29.
He continued, "It is difficult to find a segment of society that Louise didn’t help shape over the course of more than thirty years in Congress, from health care to genetic nondiscrimination to historic ethics reforms. The Slaughter family is incredibly grateful for all the support during this difficult time. Details on funeral arrangements will be provided when they are available."
Slaughter, the only microbiologist in Congress, was also the oldest member of the House of Representatives. She was first elected to represent the Rochester area in 1986.
Throughout her time in Congress, Slaughter was a fierce advocate for women's rights. Some of her accomplishments included being a co-chair and founding member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, establishing the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and co-authoring the landmark 1994 Violence Against Women Act.
Her fellow congresswomen mourned her on social media, many of them calling her a trailblazer and a force of nature.
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