I recently recorded a video-greeting to a group of high school girls participating in a ‘Women in Science Conference’ in Aberdeen. These young women have the ambition to enter career fields primarily dominated by men, and I am inspired by their courage and determination. As National Women’s History Month comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on how women have impacted history. From Sandra Day O'Connor to Madeline Albright, there are quite a few females who have broken glass ceilings and continue to inspire females from every walk of life today.

As a female serving in the United States House of Representatives, I find it difficult to imagine a time when women weren’t able to choose their own futures. It is an honor and a privilege to stand beside men and women of all backgrounds on the House Floor, debating and creating legislation that will determine our nation’s path. Rep. Jeannette Rankin of Montana was the first woman to serve in Congress, and since she was elected in 1917, a total of 277 women have served either as a U.S. Representative or Senator.

Earlier this week, I teamed up with my fellow female GOP Members outside the Capitol to talk about how the President’s health care law impacts women. Women often find their days filled with more responsibilities than they can count, whether they’re running kids back and forth from school or managing a business, they don’t have time for nonsense or politics as usual.

And that’s why I’m so frustrated that we women – who tend to make the health care decisions for our families – are learning that much of what we were told about this law is false. We were told we could keep our own plan if we liked it, but that’s not true when 50 percent of employers say they’ll have to stop offering coverage because of the President’s health care law. Many women work just to receive the health benefits offered for them and their families, and many could be in danger of losing that.

This all comes down to one fundamental question. Do we want to live in a world where the government tells us what to do? That is not the kind of America I grew up in and that’s not the kind of future I want for my kids. Just as Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton struggled and fought for equality, the women of the House GOP continue to stand firm against government intrusions in our lives, and will combat regulations that limit our freedom to choose.

History has taught us that women have the ability to promote real change in our communities, our nation and our world. I want to encourage women of all ages in South Dakota to follow their dreams, no matter how big, because I know that women will continue to play a key role in America’s future.

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