Congressional funding for combating the Zika virus is being held hostage to anti-women politics.
The Zika virus can cause dreadful brain damage, including microcephaly, to embryos and fetuses, as well as life-threatening reactions in some adult patients. The virus has spread around the globe, with more than 17,000 cases in the mainland United States and U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico.
President Obama sought $1.9 billion in emergency funding for research and prevention early this year. GOP leadership inserted a provision slashing funding of Planned Parenthood into a $1.1 billion Zika funding bill passed by the Senate in May, prompting Democrats to correctly oppose it. House Republicans later passed a bill to provide $622 million in funds, largely by robbing other federal programs, such as the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday, Democrats were forced once again to block a Zika funding bill because of the same GOP maneuvers.
This delay is unacceptable. The religiously motivated attempts to sabotage funding of Zika prevention and research are also a timely topic for letters to the editor and social media commentary. Please add your voice to protests over Congress' do-nothing stalemate. Watch the news to add pressure as needed.
Please contact your House representative and senators now to ask them to pass Obama's $1.9 billion Zika funding request, with no strings attached.
Scroll to read current news articles. Feel free to utilize the talking points below, or to cut and paste this message:
Please pass with no further delay a clean $1.9 billion Zika funding bill, as requested by President Obama. It is a travesty that anti-women politics are holding up funding, as the Zika virus has infected more than 1 million people all over the Americas, including 17,000 cases in the United States. The Zika mosquito presents a frightening threat to infant and maternal health, and yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is out of funds. Pass Obama's requested funding with no strings attached so vital research and prevention can proceed. Zika funding should improve women's health, not be used as a weapon against women's rights.