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Today, our Nation commemorates the birthday of an American hero, visionary, civil rights leader, and pioneer in the women’s suffrage movement—Susan B. Anthony.

Born in 1820, Susan B. Anthony lived during a time when women across our country were unable to fully enjoy the rights and blessings of America.  In many States, women could not pursue higher education, own land, maintain control of their own earnings, or participate in one of the most basic demonstrations of our democracy—the right to vote.  Susan B. Anthony, however, dared to envision a Nation where women’s voices would be given the same respect as those of their fathers, brothers, and spouses.  She envisioned a Nation where “women helped make the laws and elect the lawmakers.”  She envisioned a Nation that protected the rights and privileges of all Americans, regardless of skin color, sex, or any other physical characteristics.

Fighting inequality became one of Susan B. Anthony’s most passionate pursuits, as she paved the way for the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Her tireless efforts to rally and advocate for women’s rights helped change the course of human history.  Her work helped our Nation to realize the egalitarian principles enshrined in the seminal Declaration of Sentiments of the Seneca Falls Convention—that all men and women are created equal by God.

Although she never saw the realization of her life’s work, she certainly left a lasting legacy, which has inspired many generations of Americans. More importantly, millions of women have been able to realize the fruits of her life’s work in every aspect of American life and every sector of American industry.  She inspires us to continue to form a more perfect union, and she reminds us that securing equal rights for all people includes preserving and advocating for the preciousness and sanctity of all human life, including the unborn.

Today, many of our Nation’s leaders and thinkers are women—and we need more of them.  They are essential to the success and greatness of America, and they continue to shatter barriers wherever they exist.  On Susan B. Anthony Day, we reaffirm our Nation’s commitment to advancing equal opportunity for all Americans.  And we pledge to ensure that young girls across our Nation will always be able to look to the future with the confidence that any dream is attainable.