Washington, DC--Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) called for immediate bipartisan support of the Violence Against Woman Act (VAWA) which, due to inaction by the House Republican Leadership, expired last month.  

“As we mark the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I am hopeful we are also marking the end to the bizarre actions of the House Republicans which threatened to set women’s issues back decades. In fact, a recent Wall Street Journal poll showed only 24% of the American public is in favor of the repeal of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision. 

“In the last Congress, House Republicans took so many votes attempting to limit women’s rights – including efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and reduce access to birth control – however, they failed to take a vote to reauthorize VAWA.  I have been, and will always be, a lifelong supporter of a woman’s right to choose.  I also support a woman’s right to obtain affordable birth control.  In addition, we should all agree that women should be protected from violence, and have strong recourse should they become victims.  I would hope that prevention of domestic violence and rape would be paramount to all lawmakers. 

“Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) will introduce VAWA today or tomorrow – a law originally written by Vice President Joe Biden in the early 1990s.  I support its passage and I urge my colleagues to use the 113th Congress to correct this lapse by the previous Congress.  On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we can make it clear that Congress will be in the business of granting rights to our citizens and not seeking to limit them.  2013 needs to be a landmark year for legislation to help and protect American women, and I call on my Republican colleagues to join us in these efforts, and not to stand in the way.”

Rep. Engel is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health.  He regularly scores perfect grades for his voting record on women’s issues from such groups as – NARAL Pro-Choice USA, The American Association of University Women, Planned Parenthood, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, Federally Employed Women, the National Organization for Women, and Business and Professional Women USA.