Republican Abortion Bill: Real Rape Needs Force

January 28, 2011

(ChattahBox Political News)–When is a rape a “real” rape, according to House Republicans? Answer: only when physical force is used. What about statutory rape, date rape or rapes involving the drugging of a victim, or other instances when a woman is incapacitated and unable to give consent? Those rapes are apparently not “rapey” enough to warrant an abortion using federal funds when a victim becomes pregnant against her will. This odious redefining of rape is found in H.R.3 – No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the House GOP’s new abortion law that seeks to make permanent, the longstanding Hyde Amendment that restricts abortions using federal funds, except in cases of rape, incest and endangerment to the life and health of the mother. But the bill goes way beyond Hyde, and if ever enacted, insurance coverage, both private and public, of legal abortion procedures would be eliminated, forcing women to pay for the legal procedure out of pocket. And more disturbingly, the monstrous redefinition of rape could have far-reaching consequences affecting how victims of rape are treated in society and our criminal justice system.

The relevant provision of the Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act states:

(1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest;

Notice that the exception of incest has now been restricted to minors, 18 or younger. If a 19-year-old girl is impregnated by her father, she can’t obtain an abortion using federal funds. Not only that, the girl or her family can’t even make use of tax benefits or private savings in a health savings account, to pay for the legal procedure.

Mother Jones’ Nick Baumann reports on the odious abortion bill that’s supported by 173 Republicans, including a handful of Democrats, that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has made a priority under the new Republican-controlled House.

“With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to “forcible rape.” This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion. (Smith’s spokesman did not respond to a call and an email requesting comment.)”

“Given that the bill also would forbid the use of tax benefits to pay for abortions, that 13-year-old’s parents wouldn’t be allowed to use money from a tax-exempt health savings account (HSA) to pay for the procedure. They also wouldn’t be able to deduct the cost of the abortion or the cost of any insurance that paid for it as a medical expense.”

Baumann adds that “Other types of rapes that would no longer be covered by the exemption include rapes in which the woman was drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol, rapes of women with limited mental capacity, and many date rapes.”

Remember when Boehner and other Republican leaders pledged to focus on jobs? Well, that didn’t last long. Since taking control, House Republicans have instead, engaged in stunt votes to repeal health care reform to pander to their tea party base. Now, with this draconian abortion law, they are appealing to their Christian evangelical anti-abortion base.

Talking Points Memo reports that one of the Democratic co-sponsors of the odious abortion bill, Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), is refusing to comment on the monstrous “forcible rape” and incest provisions of the bill.

I’m not surprised.

Photo Source-WeNews/Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution.


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