Washington, D.C. (December 17, 2010) – U.S> Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-4) said this week that Republican leaders spreading misinformation about her International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act (S. 987) just minutes before the vote led to its defeat. McCollum said blatant lies alleging that the bill contained details on abortion rights was circulated by House Republican leadership in an attempt to encouraged its members to vote against the legislation.
“In an email alert, Republicans stated that S. 987 contained abortion provisions, which is completely untrue,” said McCollum. “The email also said that this legislation provided insufficient financial oversight. This statement is false as well.
“There were Republicans who understood the importance of S. 987,” she added. “They supported this legislation and fought to protect the rights of young girls.”
Republicans who voted for S. 987 include: Anders Crenshaw (FL), Mike Castle (DE), Charlie Dent (PA), Vernon Ehlers (MI), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ), Tom Latham (IA), Steven LaTourette (OH), Erik Paulsen (MN), Aaron Shock (IL), Jim Sensenbrenner (WI), Michael Simpson (ID), and Patrick Tiberi (OH).
“Child marriage is a global challenge that knows no politics,” McCollum added. “Every day, it brutally destroys millions of young girls’ lives. If nothing is done, this barbaric practice will force millions more girls into a life of slavery, sex abuse, domestic violence, and servitude.
“Senate Democrats and Republicans didn’t play partisan politics in this vote; they unanimously recognized that the United States can and should become a leader in the fight against child marriage,” she added. “Had this legislation contained abortion provisions or authorized new spending, it never would have unanimously passed the Senate.
“I thank the 229 Democrats who voted for this bill as well as the 12 Republicans. I am especially grateful for Senators Durbin, Brownback, Kerry, Lugar, and Snowe who worked to get this bipartisan agreement passed.
“The International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act failed last night not because of the issue, but because a handful of Republicans chose partisan politics over the basic human rights of young girls. I am truly disappointed in this result, but I’m not giving up on these children.”