Since this bill had nothing to do with abortion let’s just call it what it is: Republicans are okay with young girls being forced into marriage. Sorry, if that sounds harsh, but that’s what their vote says.
Via Steve Benen:
FAILING TO PROTECT GIRLS FROM CHILD MARRIAGE…. As Jodi Jacobson explained the other day, “An estimated 60 million girls in developing countries now ages 20 to 24 were married before they reached the age of 18. The Population Council estimates that the number will increase by 100 million over the next decade if current trends continue.” In many instances, girls are forced into marriage through force or coercion.
For about six years, policymakers in Washington have crafted efforts to use U.S. influence to combat this trend. The result is the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act. In the Senate, where obstructionism and gridlock are the norm, the bill was approved unanimously. In the House, the bill enjoyed the support of 112 co-sponsors, and it was expected to pass easily.
But House Republicans, in the 11th hour, balked. The bill was on the suspension calendar, so it needed a two-thirds majority to pass. On the floor, it had 241 supporters (nearly all of them Democrats), and 166 opponents (nearly all of them Republicans), which meant the legislation died.
And, why did it die? Lies about abortion.
Time for the facts. First of all, S. 987 is short — the body of the bill is around ten pages long — and does not mention abortion (“family planning” isn’t in there either). A quick read suffices to show that the bill is not dealing with abortion.
Second, as I noted yesterday, it does not appropriate any additional funding. It requires that the President and the State Department make child marriage a core part of American international development strategy. One more time: this means that this bill can’t provide funding for abortion. It’s not an appropriations bill. Nonetheless, some Republicans appear determined to showcase their conservative credentials at all costs — even when the facts make it unnecessary, even when the world’s most vulnerable children bear the bill.
More lies to polish their anti-abortion street cred – and the Tea Party (The “I see dead people aborted fetuses” crowd) will fall for it. Hook, line and sinker.