Janice Shaw Crouse

Further, the urban myths continue alongside the long-standing practice of feminists equating a lack of “reproductive services” with “domestic violence.” The I-VAWA (Section 3) acknowledges U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 — which, as those who are knowledgeable about the U.N. recognize, is the section that is cited as mandating the protection of reproductive rights. The I-VAWA would allocate $10 million a year to the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM (Section 201), one of the major U.N. agencies devoted to promoting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which prominently feature reproductive and gender rights. First, note that the UNIFEM definition of domestic violence includes “psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the government of the country in which the victim is a resident” (Section 4). Second, what the American public needs to be aware of is that the U.N.’s interpretation of “psychological violence” includes “mental distress” brought on by lack of access to abortion services.

Plus, the money trail is a maze of symbiotic relationships. For instance, the I-VAWA bill (Section 112) includes provisions for grants to Women’s Nongovernmental Organizations and Community-Based Organizations. The organization that has taken the lead in promoting I-VAWA is the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), “which stands to receive a major portion of I-VAWA funds.” The FVPF promotes “training and sensitization” programs for judges and judicial officials that will solidify “access to reproductive services.”

Other concerns regarding I-VAWA are equally troubling. The broad definitions of “violence” and the use of terms like “psychological harm” and “coercion” leave plenty of room for false accusations of abuse that will break up families and increase welfare dependence. The bill establishes an “Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues” — what some have called a “feminist czar” — (Section 101) that would establish powers under one person’s control that would supersede current and established policy-making and financial procedures.

Ironically and unbelievably, the I-VAWA does not address sex-selective abortion, which is one of today’s most egregious policies perpetuating violence against women. Both China and India are facing shortages of marriageable-age women as a result of decades of this practice, a demographic fact that has sociologists and politicians concerned about the future of those nations.

The I-VAWA is promoted as a “groundbreaking bill” that will “apply the force of U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance to preventing gender-based violence.” That loose term — gender-based violence — can mean anything and generally covers a wide range of ideological goals from the “women’s rights” agenda. In the U.S., the bill will seek to “change public attitudes” and “social norms,” efforts that are potentially “biased in their content and ideological in their purpose.”

Though these vague, nebulous goals are dressed up to sound wonderful and disguise the intent of the ideologues who promote them, their meaning can be as misleading — and disastrous — as the campaign slogan of “hope” and “change.”

Lead Sponsors of I-VAWA:
Senate:
John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), Barbara Boxer (D-California), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), and Susan Collins (R-Maine)
House: Bill Delahunt (D-Massachusetts), Ted Poe (R-Texas), and Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois)


Janice Shaw Crouse

Janice Shaw Crouse is a former speechwriter for George H. W. Bush and now political commentator for the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.
 
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