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Groups Urge Pearce To Support VAWA

A coalition of women is petitioning the sole Republican member of New Mexico's congressional delegation to support expanding protections under the Violence Against Women Act.

Reauthorization of the act was stalled during the last session thanks to partisan wrangling and constitutionality concerns.

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce voted for the House bill but did not support the Senate version. He says the law needs to be reauthorized and he accused the Senate leadership of playing politics.

The women's groups are accusing Pearce and other House Republicans of the same, saying the expanded provisions would better protect American Indian women as well as those in immigrant and gay and lesbian communities.

Martha Burk of the National Council of Women's Organizations says advocates want all citizens to have protection under the act.

More than 300 people had signed the groups' petition by Tuesday afternoon.