“There are also concerns that funding will be directed to NGOs that promote and perform abortion and efforts to combat child marriage could be usurped as a way to overturn pro-life laws,” the alert read.
And so the bill, which needed a two-thirds vote to pass under the suspended rules, failed. Even some congressmen who sponsored the bill voted no.
McCollum, along with human rights organizations and the State Department, believes that child marriage is a form of child abuse that includes sexual abuse, domestic violence and slavery.
The text of the bill does not mention abortion, contraception or family planning. Instead, it directs the president to make preventing child marriage a priority, especially in countries where more than 40 percent of girls under the age of 18 are married. The ways to do that, according to the bill: support educating communities on the dangers and health effects of child marriage, keep young girls in school, support female mentoring programs and make sure girls have access to health care services.
It’s the “health care services” provision that had Republicans riled, according to a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, whose name is on the whip alert and who voted no on the bill.
“The concern was that the reference to ‘health services’ in the bill — under the current Administration — would include abortion services,” the spokesman, Michael Steel, told TPM.
Well, you can understand that, right? I mean, it’s regrettable and certainly not ideal for a girl 9 or 10 or 11 years old to be sold into sexual slavery to a man old enough to be her grandfather, but then what if while he’s raping her she gets pregnant? The way these Democrats define “health services,” that could mean that girl could be getting an abortion, and that would be unthinkable. Of course, no one wants to see a 9-year-old girl’s body being torn apart by full-term pregnancy and childbirth, but surely that would be the lesser of two evils if the alternative was fetus-murder.