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Republicans Re-Introduce Forcible Rape

Republicans Re-Introduce Forcible Rape

If you thought the Republicans were simply going to bow to outrage over their attempts to narrow the definition of rape to “forcible rape” for abortion law, think again.

Through the use of a committee report Republicans have reintroduced the statutory (and other) rape exclusions to H.R. 3, otherwise known as the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”  A committee report is a document that congressional committees produce outlining their intent behind a particular piece of legislation.  While not binding law, committee reports are instructive looks into legislative intent and can serve as a persuasive authority for courts who must parse such intent when a bill gets challenged.

The committee report for H.R. 3 says that the bill will “not allow the Federal Government to subsidize abortions in cases of statutory rape.”  So despite the fact that the language of H.R. 3 does not say that explicitly, that’s exactly what Republicans intend the bill to do.

Republicans insist their efforts change nothing since current law (the Hyde Amendment) already prevents Medicaid from paying for abortions in cases of statutory rape.  The problem is, Hyde does not make any distinction between statutory rape or any other kind of rape and the only evidence Republicans have offered to the contrary is their own testimony.

Hyde clearly states that there are two times when Medicaid funds can be used to pay for an abortion and those are in cases of rape or incest.  States interpreting Hyde have never made a carve-out for rape cases that were “forced” and those that were “consensual.”  But that is exactly what Republicans are trying to do.

As if that were not offensive enough, consider their efforts through the lens provided by Amanda Marcotte who argues forcefully and persuasively that this extended assault on women has now reached to coercive pregnancies for teenagers — poor teenagers obviously since the fight is around the use of Medicaid funds.

And for those who may be unswayed by issues of reproductive justice, consider the bill from a purely economic point of view.  According to Frank Knapp, H.R. 3 is effectively a tax increase on small business because it eliminates the health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for any existing or new plans that provide coverage for abortion.

In fact the bill’s fiscal impact is so negative the non-partisan Office of Management and Budget took the unprecedented step and told the President to veto the measure should it pass — the first time ever OMB has taken such a stand.

The vote on H.R. 3 is tomorrow.  Contact your Senators and insist they vote against H.R. 3.


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photo courtesy of DaveFayram via Flickr

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3:03PM PDT on Apr 29, 2013


4:27AM PDT on Apr 16, 2013

RAPE IS RAPE in any language.

If a woman becomes pregnant as a result of being a victim of a sexual assault, and decides she is unable to go through with said pregnancy, she should be able to have a termination without the added outside pressure from such people as "Pro-Life groups / supporters"

There are far too many people who prefer to interfere with the lives of others than concentrate on living their own life.

9:38AM PDT on Apr 15, 2013

Get off the abortion band wagon for God's sake! When we start running out of people we can revisit the abortion debate.

2:01PM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

Who was it who said that if men could have abortions, it would be a sacrament?

4:56AM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

Roy D., if they want to have a war on promiscuous or licentious sexual irresponsibility, then they should legislate sexual behaviour. It's abortion they are after, they want to protect the unborn. But they are limiting the definitions of rape to get at abortion, and it's bassackwards! You need to look at this closer, my friend!!

4:52AM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

So, as long as the man doesn't use physical force, a knife, a gun or a stick, he can drug, trick or verbally coerce a woman into sex and it isn't rape.

Let that happen to their wives or daughters and lets see how they think about whether it was rape or not!!!!

1:59AM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

Rape is by definition forced upon a victim. Rape can NEVER be consensual! When are the ignorant low lifes of the repukes and teabags going to get that? Didn't they go to school and learned the meaning of different words? Or did they skip school that day? Send them all a Webster dictionary on line and force them to read every word in it!

1:55AM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

Citlalli Valles, corinne c., Lika S., April Thompson: You said it all so elegantly. Green Stars all around!

12:14PM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

I suggest that pro-unborn baby legislation should trump anti-choise legislation. Nobody gets killed then.

1:09PM PDT on Jun 3, 2011

You women just don't get it, do you? It isn't an issue of what you can do with your own body, you can do anything you want to lower yourselves to do. It's an issue of murdering a baby that is now a new person within you. You do not have the right to do that!

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