The House GOP’s Plan to Redefine Rape
Drugged, raped, and pregnant? Too bad. Republicans are pushing to limit rape and incest cases eligible for government abortion funding.
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 [1],”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. 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 [2], 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.

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2 Comments to “If you got drugged and raped and pregnant, you weren’t raped! House GOP says so…”

  • The headlines screams “WHAT THE HELL?”

    However, there is some merit to this argument, albeit somewhat tenuous. Sure, a 13 year old may have “consensual” sex with a 24 year old, BUT, in the eyes of the law, it is still RAPE! The 13 year old, according to the law, is not old enough to make an informed decision on whether they should have sex or not.

    This seems to me to be anti-abortionists just trying another angle to push their barrow.

    On the other hand, as I said, it does have SOME merit – but redefining rape (in my opinion) is not on.

  • The GOP is the champion of social causes? Only their own, and they somehow believe that circumvention of legal abortion is a social cause that is moral and just. They do not champion the rights of the already born. Never! Unless the already born are wealthy business owners and wealthy contributors. Take away the rights of women to choose? Why not? Women under GOP Sharia Law are merely chattel.

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