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Wagner Statement on VAWA

Mar 17, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C.  – Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) released the following statement on VAWA:

“I came to Congress to be a voice for the voiceless and serve women and girls who are in need.  I have made it a priority to fight for women and vulnerable populations.  Sexual and domestic violence have persisted in our communities for far too long, and there is always more we can do to combat these vile crimes and help victims.  Fighting these pervasive problems should be overwhelmingly bipartisan, but it grieves me to say Democrats in Congress have decided to play politics on this important issue.

“Last Congress I authored multiple amendments to improve the overall VAWA legislation and I was grateful they were included in the final bill.  This week, however, Democrats denied two of my commonsense amendments that protected sex trafficking victims and banned sex-selection abortions.

“My first amendment would allow sex trafficking victims to receive grant funding through the Creating Hope through Outreach, Options, Service, and Education for Children and Youth Program.  Victims of trafficking endure unthinkable abuse and trauma, and I am ashamed that Democrats would bring VAWA to the floor without these protections.  The fact they would go so far as to proactively strip this provision from the bill and take vital sex trafficking funding from victims and children is an unconscionable action I cannot and will not support. 

“I also introduced an amendment that would ban the horror of sex-selection abortions that have killed millions of girls around the world, as well as right here in the United States. It is an unthinkable tragedy that little girls are targeted for death even before they are born, solely because of their sex.  This is a basic protection for young girls, and I am shocked Democrats would not even allow it to have a vote.

“My amendments would have protected women and girls in vulnerable situations and made real changes to combat violence against women.  It is a shamefully political move to tear away commonsense Republican provisions that would help victims, but sadly that is exactly what Democrats have decided to do. Due to these partisan actions that will harm survivors, I cannot vote for this legislation.”