Senate Democrats have added new provisions to the Violence Against Women Act, originally passed with broad support from both parties in 1994.
The act already seeks to combat violence against women and funds services for victims. The new provisions would extend the act to cover LGBT and immigrant victims, according to the Associated Press. As Congress fights about issues such as contraceptive access and abortion rights, female Democratic members are now calling on Republicans to remain bipartisan on the Violence Against Women Act.
However, the changes have caused a rift between Democrats and Republicans, even though many of the latter once supported the legislation.
“Protecting women against violence shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” Democratic senator Patty Murray of Washington said on the Senate floor Thursday.