by Travis Weber, J.D., LL.M.
March 8, 2022
While Ukraine burns, Democrats in Congress are busy looking for partisan opportunities, like trying to cram the radical Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization into the text of the Omnibus spending package currently under negotiation.
We all are familiar with the fallout of biological men competing in women’s sports on the basis of “gender identity.” Yet, battered and vulnerable women face another threat from the same ideological source—that of biological men who identify as women entering private spaces in women’s shelters.
As we have observed:
Congress passed VAWA in 1994 to improve the criminal justice response to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and increase the availability of victims’ services. These are admirable aims, but unfortunately, when VAWA was last reauthorized in 2013, language was added that prevented it from achieving these important goals. The current reauthorization text of S. 3623 continues and exacerbates these problems by mandating harmful gender identity ideology, maintaining Planned Parenthood’s ability to obtain VAWA grants, cordoning off certain grant funds to be used for only limited purposes and limited pools of victims, and now possibly opening the door to fund abortion more directly. In short, S. 3623 would harm the very women VAWA should be protecting.
This bill is bad enough and should be opposed on its own terms. To try to rush it into last-minute spending negotiations is unconscionable.