Its been a busy week for the war against women on Capitol Hill, with Democrats and Republicans jockeying to score the most political points possible.
The House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee adopted an amendment prohibiting the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency from using funds to provide abortions, except in certain circumstances. That prompted a statement from Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.
“Abortion has no business being debated as part of a Homeland Security funding bill. For months we’ve seen opponents of women’s health focus more on limiting women’s access to health services than on expanding jobs, growing the economy, and now, protecting U.S. national security,” Richards said.
Not to be outdone by liberal groups, the anti-abortion rights Susan B. Anthony List tried to claim the “war on women” for conservatives, releasing a video that accuses President Obama of forcing women to go against their religious convictions.
“The real ‘war on women’ is the one being waged against women of faith and conscience,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
NARAL Pro-Choice America issued a statement Wednesday vowing to “mobilize” its activists ahead of a Thursday House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution hearing on a bill from Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., that would ban abortion at 20 weeks in the District of Columbia.
“This bill is especially outrageous because it takes decisions away from women who could be in tragic situations, such as rape or when a wanted pregnancy encounters health-threatening complications. The politicians behind this bill, who claim to support smaller government, are obsessed with attacking choice and willing to override locally elected officials to undermine the doctor-patient relationship,” Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, congressional leadership battled via press releases over the Violence Against Women Act, which the House is slated to vote on Wednesday evening. Republicans amended the already-passed Senate bill with changes Democrats don’t like.
“We urge you to give an up-or-down vote to the Senate’s bipartisan VAWA Reauthorization Act,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., along with 12 other female senators, wrote to House Speaker John Boehner. “Throughout its history, VAWA has been a bipartisan solution to an urgent national challenge.”