Sen. Joni Ernst has a knack for saying one thing and doing the opposite. Sadly, her legislation and votes often come at the expense of Iowa’s most vulnerable. This time, her Violence Against Women Act reauthorization proposal falls short of meeting her promise to work on a bipartisan bill that improves the previous Act.
In her proposed replacement reauthorization of VAWA, Ernst fails to keep the promise of protecting Americans. Those specifically left behind — LGBTQ individuals and Native populations.
Ernst’s bill also fails to close the boyfriend loophole. This was the provision the NRA disputed in the bipartisan House bill which passed in April. Without this, physically abusive ex-boyfriends and convicted stalkers still have access to guns. While the “boyfriend loophole” can affect both genders, it overwhelmingly affects women. The boyfriend loophole must be addressed — 93 percent of women murdered by men in 2015 were killed by a man they knew.
Once again, Ernst seems concerned with protecting the interests of the NRA rather than protecting assault survivors. Why does she value the second amendment rights of abusers more than the rights and safety of women?