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GOP watering down rape

January 28, 2011 - Terry Estep
I was worried the GOP wouldn't do something to drive me crazy this week, although Michelle Bachmann's bizarre Tea Party response to Obama's State of the Union address nearly qualified. Mercifully, House Republicans took a break from doing nothing about the economy to focus on their usual laundry list of culture war issues. This time, they're attacking women by watering down the definition of rape.

I wish I was mistaken. Thanks to the Hyde Amendment, federal dollars only pay for abortion in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. It seems the GOP believe that's allowing too many women to avoid having to carry a rapist's unwanted progeny to term, so included in their "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" is a provision that limits the rape exemption to "forcible rape."

Remember that, ladies. If a guy pulls a knife on you and rapes you, you can get help if you need it to terminate a resulting pregnancy. If he puts Rohypnol in your drink and rapes you while you're incapacitated, the GOP thinks you should have pay an abortion out of your own pocket. This bill has more than 170 sponsors in the House, and is part of a legislative effort to keep even private insurance plans from paying for a legal medical procedure that many women will choose over the course of their lives for many different reasons.

And this is the sort of thing conservatives believe should be a legislative priority. Not growing the economy and getting people back to work, but punishing women who have already been victimized. Maybe they should skip a few steps and go straight to making sure women can't leave the house without a male relative to protect their honor. That's where the alliance between the GOP and the religious right seems to be heading most of the time.

Thanks, GOP. Just when I think I have nothing to be outraged about, you renew my faith with your heartless misogyny. I can't imagine what kind of person could look a woman in the eye and say "Yeah, you were raped... but it wasn't rape rape."

Here's hoping this bill fails.


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