From the Associated Press:
Citing history textbooks, national parks and landmarks that mostly leave women out, lawmakers on Wednesday revived a long-stalled effort to create a National Women’s History Museum in the nation’s capital.
The Republican-controlled House voted 383-33 to create a bipartisan commission to study the feasibility of a museum on or near the National Mall and recommend whether it should be part of the Smithsonian. The vote came just before Mother’s Day, which several lawmakers noted. A similar measure is pending in the Senate.
Congress has allowed previous legislation calling for a women’s museum to die at least twice since 2005. The new bill would follow a process that was used for African-American and Latino-American museum proposals. The measure prohibits any federal funding for the museum’s creation in order to draw more Republican support.
Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, who have championed the effort, said the contributions of women have been mostly left out of museums, statues and national landmarks. Not enough is taught about women’s history, they said, including details about how women gained the right to vote less than 100 years ago.
‘‘It is a story that everyone should know, how the process of the suffragists and their work that carried them from Seneca Falls, New York, to Nashville where you finally saw the ratification of the 19th Amendment,’’ Blackburn said. ‘‘These suffragists, they were conservative women who led this fight for women’s equality.’’
Pro-life advocates, however, are alarmed:
Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota spoke against the museum bill. She said the museum concept “will enshrine the radical feminist movement” and that there are no assurances it won’t become “an ideological shrine to abortion.”
The pro-life group Concerned Women for America is warning its members about an effort to promote abortion and pro-abortion activists that could be funded with taxpayer dollars. The women’s group tells LifeNews that the proposed National Women’s History Museum “will glorify abortion and fuel the radical feminist movement for decades to come.”
“How do I know this? As I told Fox News, Concerned Women for America has found that the National Women’s History Museum board is overwhelmingly filled with people who are pro-abortion and leftist in their ideology,” says CWFA president Penny Nance. Nance says the proposed museum’s website references Margaret Sanger nine times while shutting out pro-lifers — referencing Phyllis Schlafly only once and not mentioning Beverly LaHaye at all. It also highlights abortion activist Sandra Fluke, while ignoring Jeane Kirkpatrick.