House Republicans brought the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) for a vote today despite the fact that they didn’t have the votes to pass it. So instead of pulling the bill and admitting their losses, Republicans used the vote to make it clear to members and those watching the vote that the modern-day GOP has no room for moderates.
That should tell us everything about what is behind the push to pass PRENDA.
The National Women’s Law Center issued a statement in response to the vote calling on Congress to try legislating on behalf of women instead of against their rights.
Today a minority in the House of Representatives managed to block passage of shameful legislation that would have criminalized abortion on the basis of sex.
This bill had nothing whatsoever to do with stopping discrimination or improving women’s health, but instead was about advancing a radical anti-choice agenda. It was a thinly veiled attempt to make it more difficult for women to seek abortion care and imprison doctors who provide that care. It is frightening that 246 members voted for this bill; every representative who voted ‘yes’ should examine his or her conscience, attitudes toward women, and priorities.
Instead of attempting to turn back the clock on women’s health care, Congress should focus on legislation that would make a real difference in the lives of women by: addressing discrimination against pregnant and nursing mothers in the workplace; providing sufficient funding for comprehensive, evidence-based sex education; expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act; passing the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Healthy Families Act; and advancing real remedies to gender discrimination that are pending in Congress.
The bill brought near-universal condemnation from women of color who immediately called out Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and the rest of the Republican party for their feigned concern for their well-being. And rightly so. It was a disgusting, cynical piece of legislation that was designed to further politicize reproductive health care in this country. Good riddance.
Photo from ADoseofShipBoy via flickr.
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