I am a Canadian, so politically unsophisticated and unwise in the ways of the world. Tell me, dear readers. How does one reconcile this:
His promises on behalf of the new House majority — reducing the size of government, creating jobs and fundamentally altering the way the Congress conducts its business — are mostly as lofty as they are unspecific, and his efforts to legislate them into reality must be done with ambitious upstarts within his own party and a fresh crop of Tea Partiers, some of whom seem to believe that it is they, not he, now running the show..
“The American people have humbled us. They have refreshed our memories to just how temporary the privilege of serving is. They have reminded us that everything here is on loan from them,’ Boehner said waving the symbol of his new office. “That includes this gavel, which I accept cheerfully and gratefully knowing that I am but its caretaker. After all, this is the people’s house.”
“I wish them great success in achieving the kinds of reforms and policies the last election was all about,” McConnell added. As for the Senate’s Republican minority, he said, “We will press the majority to do the things the American people clearly want us to do.”
…with Boehner’s House Resolution number three (the third resolution written for this new House)? Wherein, in an effort to reduce the amount of abortions being prescribed by doctors, rape is redefined to include only forceable rape?
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. 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.)
Considering that 71% of the people of the US are opposed to this bill (and that’s just the survey — you should see the outrage on Twitter on the #dearjohn hashtag), you’d think it’s a political non-starter. So how do you reconcile all these disparate claims and goals and actual action?
If the Republicans want to pass a bill to make it harder for rape victims to get justice, that’s probably a vote that can be used against them later, right? One can hope. I mean, it’s gotta be political poison to endorse a bill that essentially tells rape victims that their rape just wasn’t enough punishment. Right? RIGHT?
Reproductive rights are human rights. If you’re forced to carry a baby to term, or worse, die during childbirth, just because some politician has decided you must just be a slut, then the system is broken. The myth that people are using rape laws as loopholes to get abortions so they can be promiscuous without repercussions is JUST A MYTH. I don’t know how ideas like this have gained as much traction as they have.