Monday, January 31, 2011
House Republicans' Bill to Ban Federal Funding for Abortion Redefines "Rape"
Mother Jones: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape, by Nick Baumann:
Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law.
For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.) But the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress, contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases.
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. . . .
Emily's List: An open letter to the GOP, by Hilary Nache:
Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, and the Republican House Caucus:
What are your priorities? I ask because, while you have talked about an economic mandate from the voters, I see instead a dangerous anti-woman agenda at work. Just look at H.R. 3. This bill includes an attempt to redefine rape, causing unspeakable harm to the one in six among us who are victims of sexual assault.
Last fall, you claimed that you were brought to power to "reign in government" and to help revitalize the American economy. You spoke of creating jobs and putting American businesses back on the path to recovery. But, the reality is that, over the past month, we've watched as you avoided critical economic issues. Instead, you’ve chosen to continue your party's decades-old crusade against women and our families. . . .