House Passes Bill to Study Creation of Women's History Museum on National Mall

House Passes Bill to Study Creation of Women's History Museum on National Mall

On Wednesday, the House passed a bill that will authorize a congressional commission to study the possible creation of a National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The bill (H.R. 863), which passed the House 383-33, was co-sponsored by Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and its stated purpose is to look into the creation of a museum that would honor great American women throughout history.

The bill heads to the Senate where it will be introduced by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD).

As Breitbart News’ Warner Todd Huston reported last week, however, critics of the bill have said the legislation is simply an excuse to advance a leftist agenda.

While the NWHM website states the museum “educates, inspires, empowers, and shapes the future by integrating women’s distinctive history into the culture and history of the United States,” Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America (CWA), said that the proposed museum would be yet another way to indoctrinate children with left-wing ideology.

Nance said the museum project’s organizers “glorify Margaret Sanger who founded Planned Parenthood and neglected to mention she was a eugenicist and very racist in her beliefs.”

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) voted against the bill because she believes it promotes radical feminism and abortion.

As UPI reported, Bachmann said on the floor of the House just prior to the vote:

I rise today in opposition to this bill because I believe ultimately this museum, that will be built on the National Mall, on federal land, will enshrine the radical feminist movement that stands against the pro-life movement, the pro-family movement, and the pro-traditional marriage movement. As it’s currently written, the legislation lacks the necessary safeguards to ensure the proposed museum will not become an ideological shrine to abortion that will eventually receive federal funding and a prominent spot on the National Mall.

Museum supporters assert that the project would be privately funded, but those opposed say tax dollars will be poured into the museum eventually, leaving American taxpayers to “sustain an institution that perpetuates a one-sided and damaging narrative about the women’s movement in America.” 

Rep. Maloney, in particular, has a long history of feminist associations and views. She was the recipient of the “Fearless Trailblazer” award in 2012 from the Feminist Majority.

Nance told Breitbart News she believes Washington’s obsession with doing the “politically correct thing” is what fueled the bill’s success in the House. “I think it’s very difficult for the men in Congress, especially, to oppose anything that has the word “woman” in it,” she said. “When we push back on political correctness, we see how strong it really is. We anticipated that we would lose this vote.”

“We’ll work with folks in the Senate there and evaluate the situation,” Nance continued. “But we will keep raising awareness and getting our message out because this is a legacy issue. This is our National Mall, and thousands of school children would be visiting this museum. We want to be sure the history of women is presented from a balanced perspective.”