In Attempt Stop Women’s Choice, Republicans Redefine “Rape”
Republicans, ignoring what they said Democrats should have focused on when they ran the House (the economy), are busy trying to overturn a woman’s right to choose. The Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortions, has to be renewed every year, and carves out an exception for rape and incest. H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, would stop taxpayer funded abortions permanently and refers to rape as “forcible rape” in an effort to cut down further on permitted abortions.
Critics say the modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically recognized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats.
“It speaks to a distinction between rape where there must be some element of force in order to rise to the standard, and rape where there is not,” said Steph Sterling, director of government relations for the National Women’s Law Center. “The concern here is that it takes us back to a time where just saying no was not enough.”
Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told Raw Story she is outraged, calling this “a violent act against women.”
Introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), the bill boasts 173 mainly Republican co-sponsors and has been designated a top priority by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
“It really is — 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 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 four-term congresswoman added.Click here for reuse options!
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