Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Redefining Rape

This is disgusting on many levels.

House Republicans wasted no time in declaring their legislative priorities for the 112th Congress. The first: repeal health care for millions of Americans. The second: redefine rape. A day after repealing health care, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act, a bill that would not only permanently prohibit some federally funded health-care programs from covering abortions, but would change the language exempting rape and incest from rape to “forcible rape.”

By narrowing the Hyde Amendment language, Republicans would exclude the following situations from coverage: 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. As the National Women’s Law Center’s Steph Sterling puts it, this new standard of force “takes us back to a time where just saying no was not enough.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) didn’t mince words.

I consider the proposal of this bill a violent act against women.

[…]

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.

I really makes you wonder at what level the proponents of this bill view women. They apparently believe they are incapable of making their own choices about their own bodies, so they coerce and force them to bend to their will, imposed by force of law. And now they want to be the ones who define what constitutes a violent act, as if there are varying degrees of rape, or, for that matter, that women are the only victims.

Furthermore, the idea that redefining rape to get to banning abortions really makes it clear that the obsession of anti-choice advocates knows no bounds. At what point will they realize that in their effort to, as they see it, save lives, they are destroying the lives of others? I think we already know the answer.

HT to Melissa.