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8 Aug, 2022 19:54

US senators battle over who can get pregnant

All Democrats voted in unison against an amendment defining pregnancy as occurring only in biological women
US senators battle over who can get pregnant

US Senate Republicans were fighting a losing battle in trying to block passage of President Joe Biden’s $740 billion climate, tax and health care bill, but they tried to score some ideological points by introducing an amendment acknowledging that only biological women can get pregnant.

It turns out the GOP lost that fight, too, as every Senate Democrat voted in unison on Sunday to reject the provision limiting the federal government’s pregnancy programs to women. The party-line vote in the evenly divided Senate was 50-50, and Vice President Kamala Harris broke the tie by voting to reject the amendment, refusing to define pregnancy as a biologically female phenomenon.

“Federal funding should reflect reality: Only women can get pregnant,” said Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), who introduced the amendment. “Unfortunately, it looks like my Democrat colleagues don’t trust ‘the science’ after all.”

Rubio argued that across 5,500 years of human history, only biological females had gotten pregnant. “Therefore, the only thing I’m trying to do is make sure that federal law is clear that since every pregnancy that’s ever existed has been in a biological female that our federal laws reflect that and our pregnancy programs are available to the only people who are capable of getting pregnant.”

Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington) scolded Rubio for introducing his amendment on pregnancy-related programs when Democrats were trying to pass Biden’s so-called Inflation Reduction Act. “When we’re facing challenges in this country and helping our constituents to lower costs, it is outrageous that Republicans are trying to define pregnancy, of all things, on this floor on this day after hours of voting on amendments.” She said that at the same time, Republicans are “forcing women to stay pregnant” by enacting “cruel and extreme” state abortion bans.

Democrats have increasingly tried to use non-gendered language in government documents – such as “gestational parent” and “lactating individual” instead of “mother” and “menstruating person” instead of “woman” – ostensibly to be inclusive of all gender identities.

During a Senate hearing last month, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) confronted a witness, California law professor Khiara Bridges, on her use of the phrase “people with the capacity for pregnancy.” Asked whether that meant women, Bridges noted that transgender men and nonbinary people are capable of getting pregnant. She added that Hawley’s line of questioning was “transphobic” and would lead to violence against transgender people.

Rubio’s proposal was one of several amendments that Republicans tried to tack on to Biden’s spending bill. Although the amendments all failed to pass, they forced Democrats to vote against such issues as tightening border security, increasing police funding and promoting oil and natural gas exploration on federal lands. Rubio also introduced an amendment that would have forced state prosecutors backed by billionaire political activist George Soros to put more criminals in jail.

Soros has reportedly spent $40 million over the past decade to help elect 75 “progressive” district attorneys across the US. His candidates have implemented such reforms as refusing to enforce some laws, letting more criminals out of jail without bail requirements, and seeking to shorten prison terms for some previously convicted offenders. Critics have blamed those policies for surging violent crime in such cities as Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Soros himself admits he’s supporting prosecutors, but he denies any links between their decisions and rising crime rates.