May 14, 2014 (Turtle Bay and Beyond) – Last week US lawmakers used the Nigerian kidnapping crisis to introduce the latest version of the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA).


Versions of IVAWA have been introduced in every Congress for the past several years. Supporting policy that will safeguard women and girls from violence especially where they are most at risk, in conflict regions in developing countries, should have support from both democrats and republicans.

Why then have republican lawmakers rejected it? Because a primary goal within IVAWA is to advance a very strategic sexual and reproductive rights agenda sure to include US funding of abortion.

While some elements of the bill do address the safety of women and girls, the bill establishes as the implementing guideline; for offices and initiatives established by the Obama administration to outline and define all programs. This would include defining programs that include access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Since President Obama took office, overseas assistance for Family Planning has been prioritized over all other global health initiatives with a funding stream that has almost doubled with hundreds of millions of dollars flowing to abortion providers.

Introduced by Senator Boxer – a longtime supporter of unrestricted access to abortion and sexual rights for adolescents, passage of IVAWA is supported by international abortion groups knowing they will be recipients of more US funding – IVAWA states that 10% of appropriated funding must flow to women-run organizations.

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Reproductive rights and abortion groups are rallying supporters with the usual rhetoric and writing op-eds trumpeting IVAWA as the solution to abuses like the Nigerian girls kidnapping.

If this bill has any chance of passing, lawmakers must amend with language that defines a comprehensive plan that is deliberate in its efforts to combat violence against women and rejects the radical feminist ideology that is being mainstreamed throughout our foreign policy by the State Department. IVAWA would codify these initiatives long after Obama has left Washington.

Reprinted with permission from Turtle Bay and Beyond


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