Committee Cancels Hearing on Pro-Abortion Intl Violence Against Women Act
by Steven Ertelt
September 30, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has canceled a hearing on the Violence Against Women Act — legislation that, despite its good-sounding name, is prompting concerns for pro-life groups that it could be used to promote abortion internationally.
Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America says "The problems with I-VAWA are hidden in the fine print under the lofty rhetoric" with the "predictable agenda" of "abortion-on-demand on a global scale."
The panel had planned a mark-up hearing on S. 2982 consider any final amendments on the bill before a vote by the committee and subsequent referral to the entire Senate for a vote.
But just minutes before the hearing was scheduled to begin, pro-abortion committee Chairman John Kerry of Massachusetts announced the hearing would be canceled.
Kerry was the lead sponsor of the bill and one report LifeNews.com received indicates Kerry may have scrapped the vote on it because he lacked enough votes to move the measure out of the committee. While Sen. Kerry may attempt to secure passage of the bill during the upcoming, the information indicated "Senate insiders believe such a move is unlikely."
The International Violence Against Women Act has also been introduced in the House (H.R. 4594). The House Foreign Affairs Committee has not scheduled a mark-up hearing on the bill.
Looking at the pro-abortion provisions of the bill, Crouse says, "The I-VAWA (Section 3) acknowledges U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 which, as those who are knowledgeable about the U.N. recognize, is the section that is cited as mandating the protection of reproductive rights."
The pro-life women’s group spokeswoman says abortion advocates frequently equate "reproductive rights" with abortion and a lack of such "rights" with domestic violence. "The I-VAWA would allocate $10 million a year to the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM (Section 201), one of the major U.N. agencies devoted to promoting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which prominently feature reproductive rights."
The I-VAWA bill (Section 112) also includes provisions for grants to Women’s Nongovernmental Organizations and Community-Based Organizations, many of which are pro-abortion and actively promote abortion in other nations.
The organization that has taken the lead in promoting I-VAWA is the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), "which stands to receive a major portion of I-VAWA funds," Crouse says. The FVPF promotes "training and sensitization" programs for judges and judicial officials that will solidify "access to reproductive services."
The bill establishes an "Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues," who could become an aggressive abortion advocate.
CWA’s Crouse says the bill is ironic in that it doesn’t address sex-selective abortion, which the pro-life group notes "is one of today’s most egregious policies perpetuating violence against women."
"Both China and India are facing shortages of marriageable-age women as a result of decades of this practice, a demographic fact that has sociologists and politicians concerned about the future of those nations," CWA says.
Crouse says the breakdown of marriage and family do more to promote violence than failing to promote abortion.
"The facts are clear: the breakdown of marriage and family has been a major factor in increasing violence and abuse against women and children. The sad reality is that we are spinning our wheels as a nation in trying to keep up with the problems of women who are not protected by their husbands and of children who are denied the presence and protection of mature, concerned fathers," Crouse says. " A married father-mother home is the safest and most nurturing place for the nation’s women and children."
Lead sponsors of the bills in the House and Senate include longtime abortion advocates.
Abortion advocates Barbara Boxer of California and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine are also behind the bill in the Senate.
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.