Bill restricting abortion draws outrage for ‘re-defining rape’

A bill sponsored by New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith, and supported by pro-life advocates and 173 congressmen, to further restrict federal funding of abortion is alarming pro-choice advocates.

The bill would deny tax credits to companies that allow employees to have abortion coverage on their insurance plans. Exemptions for rape, incest, and the health of a mother would be narrowed.

The re-definition of rape has drawn particular outrage.

MoveOn.org has launched a petition campaign to oppose the bill. It sent an alert to supporters Tuesday saying that the bill “could redefine rape and set women’s rights back by decades.”

The alert cited a New York Times editorial that said the bill “would allow federal financing of abortions in cases of ‘forcible’ rape but not statutory or coerced rape.”

Mother Jones wrote that under the changes, many forms of rape could be exempted from abortion coverage, including if a woman was “drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol” or in cases including “rapes of women with limited mental capacity, and many date rapes.”

In an interview with the Raw Story, Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, “to suggest that there is some kind of rape that would be okay to force a woman to carry the resulting pregnancy to term, and abandon the principle that has been long held, an exception that has been settled for 30 years, is to me a violent act against women in and of itself.”

Wasserman Schultz also said, “Rape is when a woman is forced to have sex against her will, and that is whether she is conscious, unconscious, mentally stable, not mentally stable.”

The controversy revolves around a yet-undefined standard for “forcible rape.” Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post wrote Wednesday that he and others have not received a response from the bill’s sponsor on a precise definition.

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  • alpha_male

    Well I define rape as being forced to pay for someone else’s medical coverage!

  • Taters N Beans

    I thought they were going to focus on jobs?

  • Responsa

    Ugh, ugh, ugh. The LAST thing we need is Debbie Wasserman Schultz to break it down for us.

    The proposed law quite obviously does NOT redefine rape. It merely distinguishes one subset of rapes as being particularly bad (and therefore meriting state funding for abortions) from a subset of rapes that are, honestly, kind of different.

    For instance, raping of a severely mentally retarded person, or raping disabled persons in nursing homes who can’t formally attest to whether it was forced or not, or raping someone who has been rendered unconscious by drugs or alcohol, or the incestuous rape of a 20-year old subject merely to threats of an economic nature directed against a family member (i.e. “I’ll stop paying child support for your younger brother’s care unless you let me do this now”), or rape undertaken in situations of ambiguous power relations between the rapist and the victim.

    All these are plainly “nonforcible” situations and yadda yadda yadda, they qualify as “rape”. No one ever said they didn’t.

    But these are not the kinds of rape that necessitate another round of demands on the impecunious federal purse.

    And they certainly don’t represent the kind of exception for which federal funding for abortion could ever be countenanced. The late Henry Hyde would be shocked we are even having this discussion.

    Unlike the person raped after having been beaten, the women (and men) who fall into these lesser, nonforcible forms of rape don’t exactly merit carefully titrated aliquots of our precious sympathy (of which I have very little left at this point….yawn), and they certainly don’t require statutory acknowledgement in subsidized abortions.

    For the state to actually PAY for an ABORTION after the incestuous rape of a 20 year old worried about her siblings… my God. This is precisely what we on the Right need to stop from ever happening again. After repealing Obamacare, there really is no greater cause we could undertake at this moment. Well, okay, maybe the deficit is more important, but right after that lets deal with these abortions after nonforcible rapes.

    And don’t you dare allow yourself to be suckered in by those tearful, NPR-listening “empathy addicts”, the people who sag this country’s left side down so low that California is already half underground.

    These quadriplegics, these 20 year old incest victims, these incapacitated drunken date-rape drug victims, these closeted 21-year old women who say yes to their drunken, abusive daddies because they’re afraid for the safety of their little brothers and sisters, these folks have our sympathy, of course.

    But hey, they have all made some pretty stupid choices.

    If you don’t want to be a nonforcible rape victim, the way is clear. Don’t lose your arms and legs!

    Don’t stick around to take care of your brothers and sisters if your daddy is an abusive loser!

    Don’t let anyone slip you a mickey, even if they have nice blue eyes and an awesome 6-pack!

    By withholding the federal hand from such ne’er do wells, Republicans offer all those so-called “victims” the greatest gift of all:

    the chance to assume a tiny bit of personal responsibility in the face of our overweening Obama-fantasy nanny state.

    I mean, not to restate the obvious, but I guess I have to:

    Does “personal responsibility” have any meaning at all if a quadriplegic mentally retarded woman can’t be forced to pay for her own abortion after being raped? Of course it doesn’t. You take that mouth-operated wheelchair down to your check-cashing station and buy your own abortion, crip!

    And that’s why we need Right-thinking people to help us figure out which rape victims merit our sympathy, and which ones just need to start making better choices.

  • BuddyGC

    There is a simply solution

    For those who support abortions, they contribute and fund the coverage of abortion

    For those who oppose, they do not fund.

    Make it a payroll deduction item or for those who support abortions, set up a fund outside of the government to pay for abortion insurance for all who wish to have it.

    • letsbehonest

      I agree. They should also let those that support the BILLIONS being spent on the war in Iraq pay for that as well. Yep, let the people decide individuality which causes they should have to pay for. Yes, Buddy, you’re a GENIUS! lol

      There are certain roads I don’t drive on. Maybe I shouldn’t have my money going to building and maintaining them. It’s my religion and morality that makes me feel this way.

  • BuddyGC

    There is no redefination of rape within the bill or another similar bill.

    They contain the phrase “forcible rape” but do not give a definition.

    Criminal law defines rapes as forcable and also uses the terms rape, forcible rape and sexual assualt to mean the same thing….. rape

  • classicliberal

    YES, the issue is, in fact, all about money… or rather, what the money represents. Can one – anyone – force the use of tax dollars from those who would not countenance abortion for that very purpose? Can one be made to pay for acts that go against their core beliefs? Is there some humanistic justification for absconding with someone else’s soul?

  • clw

    There’s a simple remedy: Get the government out of the abortion industry COMPLETELY. Then they won’t have to argue about it at all. Let the Democrats endorse private practice abortion, let liberals run their own clinics, and the women who want one can find their own ways to pay for it. Those of us who are against killing babies don’t want to pay for it thru our tax dollars and shouldn’t be forced to.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Clark/1785223171 Jasmine Clark

      so this is all about money for you? you don’t care which babies get killed as long as you don’t have to pay for it with yout tax dollars? no, the gov’t shouldn’t even allow the libs to have private practice clinics…. that’s just more babies being killed.

      • amylpav22

        I completely agree, Jasmine.

        And, more to the point, someone’s humanity is not determined by the circumstances of their conception.

        YES – rape is a horrible violation of a woman’s body. I have every sympathy for a woman in that situation. However, that sympathy does not include believing the best solution for a rape victim is to stick her on a table in the local clinic to kill her unborn child — the only being more innocent than the rape victim.

        Abortion as a solution to rape is an abhorrence. I can’t see how punishing the child for the crimes of his father is progress or protecting women.

      • clw

        Well of course not! I am a Christian, and while I may not be a GREAT Christian I do not in ANY way accept the seemingly recreational killing of babies under ANY circumstances.

        However, the trolls could care less about the morality of the situation, or even the HEINOUSNESS or HORROR of the situation. They care about funding of THEIR precious “baby”… abortion.

        In short, they’re going to find a way to kill babies no matter what we say or do… so let the blood be on THEIR hands, ENTIRELY.

      • theprofessor

        “so this is all about money for you?”

        That was kind of an unfair attack. Clearly, clw did not mean that. CLW was limiting his/her response to the article….not every possible abortion situation.