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LJWorld.com weblogs Sharpening My Pen

"Rape" and "Not Rape"

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Once more the LJWorld shows it's inherent political bias in refusing to publish information that very well may have far reaching consequences for the national Republican Party. Day before yesterday, the US House of Representatives passed House Resolution 3, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act". (Link to the full text of the bill is here: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-3 )
In the body of this bill is language that redefines the meaning of the word "rape". No longer will women be able to say they were raped just because they said "No" and were forced into the act anyway. No longer will rape be defined by age or the ability to consent. No longer will ten year old girls, impregnated by their fathers, stepfathers or soccer coaches, be able to get an abortion despite the fact that having a baby will ruin their bodies, much less their souls. Well, they won't be able to get an abortion and have the GOVERNMENT pay for it.
Also buried within the language of this bill is the investment of powers to the IRS that will permit tax auditors to force women that were raped to prove that they were raped. This means detailed signed statements with descriptions of the actual assault and supporting photographic documentation along with copies of the police report and all legal action. And if her rapist plea bargains to a lesser charge or, for some reason, is found guilty of only a lesser assault the burden of proof will not be met.
Passage of this bill was largely symbolic. It's already known that the Senate will reject it and if, by some gruesome twist of fate, it actually made it past the Senate, Obama will never sign it. But it is an indication of the cultural mindset of the GOP. It's one that a large majority of people, thankfully, are reacting to in horror.
The draconian legislation coming out of the Kansas House is a microcosm of that coming out of the Nation's House. In a backlash that was awaited for with bated breath, the GOP swept in last November on a platform promise of jobs and to fix the economy. Since then they have acted like kids in a candy store passing every pet piece of social legislation, each successive act crazier and more outre in what appears to be a competitive war as to who can bring up the most socially right wing bill. This act is just one such piece of grandstanding.

Comments

nepenthe 3 years, 7 months ago

I really wish Repubs would stop detouring and get to fixing the economy and create jobs like they promised. The social agenda and government intrusion on what people choose to do in private is getting annoying.

Sigmund 3 years, 7 months ago

Where is the language that redefines rape as I missed it entirely.

Perhaps you missed the following exemptions in the bill you linked to:allowing the "government" to pay for abortions:

‘Sec. 308. Treatment of abortions related to rape, incest, or preserving the life of the mother The limitations established in sections 301, 302, and 303 shall not apply to an abortion-- (1) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or (2) in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-3

Did you simply misread the bill, or did you mean to intentionally misrepresent it?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 7 months ago

No but you certainly did. This from "Rightwing Watch": – Redefinition Of Rape: The bill sponsor Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) faced serious backlash after he tried to narrow the definition rape to “forcible rape.” By narrowing the rape and incest exception in the Hyde Amendment, Smith sought to prevent the following situations from consideration: Women who say no but do not physically fight off the perpetrator, women who are drugged or verbally threatened and raped, and minors impregnated by adults. Smith promised to remove the language and while it is not technically in the bill, it's reported that House Republicans used “a sly legislative maneuver” to insert a “backdoor reintroduction” of redefinition language. Essentially, if the bill is challenged in court, judges will look at the congressional committee report to determine intent. The committee report for H.R. 3 says the bill will “not allow the Federal Government to subsidize abortions in cases of statutory rape” — thus excluding statutory rape-related abortions from Medicaid coverage.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 7 months ago

Bottom line, although the specific language may not be in the bill, it is in the committee report of the bill. That report clearly states the intent of the bill and if it ever makes it to law and is challenged in court it's that committee report that will define it for the justices hearing it. It's a sleazy, back door way to have the bill say what they want it to while having people like you point fingers and say, "But that's not in there!" to people like me. Do NOT trust politicians.

Sigmund 3 years, 7 months ago

cait48 (anonymous) replies… "The bill sponsor Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) faced serious backlash after he tried to narrow the definition rape to “forcible rape.”

"Tried" is different than did, and you still haven't pointed me to the section of the bill you linked that redefines rape, you can't because it simply isn't in there.

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 7 months ago

No it's not there. And it won't be there until if/when it makes it to law and gets challenged in court. As this bill has a snowball's chance in hades of making it past the Senate and the President this is a little bit like counting the angels on the head of a pin. But by all means, if you want to defend Kevin Yoder (who voted for it), go for it. The "But but but"s are coming, I'm sure. This bill was symbolic from the beginning. The House knew it would never make it to law. This is simply nothing but a statement of their ideology and if you support that ideology I would expect you to defend it.

Sigmund 3 years, 7 months ago

cait48 (anonymous) replies… "Bottom line, although the specific language may not be in the bill, it is in the committee report of the bill."

Only if the justices ever have to decide whether a specific abortion should be paid by tax payers would they look at the specific language of the bill, which is not to define rape but to limit the "government" for paying for abortions. This law is irrelevant as to whether or not a rape occurred.

Further, almost all rapes are subject to state laws (only rapes on Federal property are subject to the federal statute) so IF the definition of rape ever became an issue for "government" funded abortions statute, the justices would look at state laws for guidance of whether or not there was a rape, not some committee report. No state judge in a criminal rape case could ever look to a federal committee report for statute limiting "tax payer" paid abortion to determine whether or not a rape occurred.

Even for those rapes on federal property this statute and any committee report would not be relevant on the issue of whether or not a rape occurred, just whether or not any abortion should be paid for by the taxpayers.

So when your post stated, "In the body of this bill is language that redefines the meaning of the word "rape," did you simply misread the bill, or did you mean to intentionally misrepresent it?

When you said, "No longer will women be able to say they were raped just because they said "No" and were forced into the act anyway", were you just exaggerating to scare women?

When you stated, "No longer will rape be defined by age or the ability to consent" did you have any basis in fact for that opinion?

Gail Grant 3 years, 7 months ago

But of course, they want small goverment and less control of men business, but women body is somthing they feel the need for more control. Make so much sense...

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