Women’s eNews had an article today about how US lawmakers are trying to stop a child-marriage bill. The bill carries a (relatively) small cost and the money has already been allocated to fund the work over the next five years.
When the “fiscal” issue didn’t work to stop the bill to stop child marriages, (after all – it will probably cost less than the study of cow gas emissions) the “right” resorted to the tried-and-true red rally flag of “abortion.” The reality is that there is nothing in the bill that provides funding for or education about abortion. But once again the right has framed the issue in what they know will stop the bill.
That legislators in the United States House were able to stop leads to a bigger question – who, what human being, would stop a bill that could prevent even one child from being raped, much less hundreds of thousands of children? If we fix the problem at it’s core and eliminate or help countries eliminate child marriage, then abortion – indeed pregnancy – becomes a non-issue. “The International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act instructs the administration to devise and implement programs over the next five years to help developing countries reduce instances of forced marriage. The bill would funnel assistance to multilateral, nongovernmental and faith-based organizations that educate and empower young women and girls.”
Durbin responded strongly when the bill failed to pass the House: “These young girls, enslaved in marriage, will be brutalized and many will die when their young bodies are torn apart while giving birth,” he said in a press statement issued after the House vote. “Those who voted to continue this barbaric practice brought shame to Capitol Hill.”
This most basic violations of our human right to sexual freedom – to the personal autonomy of our bodies – must be brought to a halt. Abortions? The issue of abortions seems to be the same rallying point for the right that same sex marriage was a few years ago. This is the United States – the same country that made polygamy illegal and has been outraged over the idea that children are being raped and forced into marriages against their will.
The core issue can’t be lost. We MUST speak out against those who, by their votes, say it’s okay for children –CHILDREN – to be raped.
One of only 12 Republicans who voted for the measure, Rep. Steven LaTourette, R – Ohio told the Washington Post “All of a sudden there was a fiscal argument,When that didn’t work, people had to add an abortion element to it. This is a partisan place. I’m a Republican. I’m glad we beat their butt in the election, but there comes a time when enough is enough.”