The Rapist Protection Act of 2011

As an expansion of John’s quick post below, I wanted to point out that Teabaggers and wingnuts everywhere are taking it as a great victory and good news that Republican Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) has introduced a Bill to protect child predators and rapists and to ensure that any women or child raped by these creatures is forced to become a mother (if the union is so ‘blessed’ by the Lord).

In an effort to prove that irony is alive and well, Smith has given his Rapist Protection Act of 2011 the nickname: “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”. 173 Republicans have rushed to support this effort to punish victims of rape and give predators ongoing power over their victims and the peace of mind that comes with the Bill’s assurance that anybody they get pregnant will be forced by the State to carry the child to term.

In a very clever twist, Congressman Smith accomplishes this protection of rapists everywhere by changing the definition of “rape”. As the law of the land currently stands rape is rape regardless if it was violent, statutory, non-forcible, coercive, or forcible. Smith’s law takes the idea of rape back to another time. In his bill only exceptionally forcible and violent rapes like the ones in A Clockwork Orange would count as “Rape”. Anything else would be treated as some kind of wingnut idea of “consensual” sex.

Nick Baumann over at Mother Jones breaks down how the forced birth movement is seeking to protect rapists and repeatedly punish their victims:

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. [snip]

Other types of rapes that would no longer be covered by the exemption include rapes in which the woman was drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol, rapes of women with limited mental capacity, and many date rapes.

And the Legislation will make some States extremely attractive for rapists and forced birthers everywhere because the term “forcible rape” in those States is undefined and could force all rape victims–regardless of the violence of the crime–to have the child of their rapist.

And just think of all the jobs that will be created as the State establishes procedures to ensure that women and girls carry their forced pregnancies to term.

I think we can look forward to lots of horrific Legislation from the 112th Congress, but I have to agree with Steve Benen, this one is odious.

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172 replies
  1. 1
    morzer says:

    We ought to call this the “Great Red State Rape Approval Act”. It’s utterly disgusting, and so typical of the Republican thugocracy, even down to the lying name.

  2. 2
    Bella Q says:

    To paraphrase from The Bloody Shirt, To conservatives, the outrage is never the acts they committed, but only the effrontery of having those acts held against them. Wait until this gets noticed and called the nasty piece of misogynistic victim punishment that it really is. Anguished cries of butthurt from those who care about a fetus only prior to its crossing of the cervical rubicon.

  3. 3
    PurpleGirl says:

    They must think a woman related to themselves will never, ever be raped (whatever the definition).

    A plague on every damn one of the sponsors of this horrific measure. A plague on any one who thinks it’s a good thing to to do.

  4. 4
    Svensker says:

    This is why I get so mad at my “Obama = Bush” relatives. Yeah, there’s no difference at all between Repubs and Dems and it doesn’t matter if you vote or not. Vote 3rd party!

  5. 5
    morzer says:

    @Svensker:

    Ya know, for a Jets fan you definitely have quite a few good moments…

  6. 6
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @morzer: Ditto this. I get madder and madder the more I think about this.

  7. 7
    Mike in NC says:

    No, I believe we can expect to see lots and lots of insane shit every bit as odious as this in the next two years.

    This was a good comment:

    In conservative minds there’s no such thing as rape. The tramps and tarts deserve it.

    Extra teabagger points for committing rape at gunpoint. Also, too.

  8. 8
    El Cid says:

    “I did not have rapist relations with that little underage girl harlot woman.”

  9. 9
    Punchy says:

    Wait….there’s something called “forcible rape”? Just what rapes ARENT forced? Isn’t that, like, the very definition of rape and precisely what makes it a crime?

    These fuckstains are on a one-way plunge to the bottom of a very deep cesspool of shit. NJ oughta excoriate this asshole.

  10. 10
    morzer says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I think it just says how far this country has gone to the right that this vile piece of wankery hasn’t ended its creator’s political career and public life.

  11. 11
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    This is the worst bill ever. Like, ever. I did not know about this aspect, but previously I thought it was stupid because if an employer offers insurance to it’s employees, and even one of those plans has an abortion coverage clause, that employer would not get their tax breaks, even if nobody actually signed up for that plan. I keep emailing my republican senator about why he supports government control of small businesses health care decisions, but he never responds.

  12. 12
    debbie says:

    This is absolutely unspeakable.

  13. 13

    Gosh, it sure is swell to see the GOP is focused on fixing the economy.

  14. 14
    Ash Can says:

    As long as we have a Dem-controlled Senate and (especially) White House, I say let the House Republicans let their freak flag fly for all the world to see. Benen points out that this is base-pandering, and I’m sure he’s right. The sociopaths in the House know damned well that they’ll never get their agenda past the Senate and President, so they know that they can come up with whatever insane shit their drooling base wants to see them come up with, in full knowledge that none of it will actually get enacted and no horrific consequences will get hung around their necks. In the meantime, though, the great unwashed in the middle get to see these psychos in all their reprehensible glory, and the rest of us, who knew from the start that these people were monsters, can say, “See? We told you these people were criminally insane.”

  15. 15
    Linnaeus says:

    To paraphrase Amanda Marcotte, if there was ever any doubt about the misogyny behind the anti-choice position, the existence of this bill should erase said doubt.

  16. 16
    Ija says:

    If Democrats are Republicans, The Rapist Protection Act name would already be in the front pages of newspapers and in every blog in the country. But no, if Democrats do it, it’s shrill, vile and ineffective. Dennis G, expect a Moore Awards nomination soon.

  17. 17
    Gustopher says:

    Does the rapist get visitation rights?

  18. 18
    DonkeyKong says:

    “And the first thing that flashed into my gulliver was that I’d like to have her right down there on the floor with the old in-out, real savage.” -Alex

    Network and Clockwork, distopian visions as a roadmap to the future. Fuck…an…A.

    “I’ve seen the Future and it’s murder.”

  19. 19
    Svensker says:

    @morzer:

    For a Pats’ fan, you’re not so bad yourself. *Waggles ears*

  20. 20
    Winston Smith says:

    What about… um… “Blackmail rapes.” Like, say a guy were to tell some chick that he would kill her dog if she didn’t have sex with him, or he would kill her kid even.

    Would that be exempt? I’m, um, asking for a friend.

  21. 21
    scav says:

    Funny, was just reading somewhere that there used to be the belief (in medieval Europe, by the by) that a woman could only conceive if the sexual encounter had brought her pleasure. So conceiving was proof in itself that there had been no rape. No doubt that’s the next logical step in our return to fundamental values and medical theory.

  22. 22
    morzer says:

    Presumably Chris Smith has the Childhood Redemption Act all ready to license pedophilia after this repellent piece of legislation waddles through the somnolent consideration of our Galtian overlords. As for what his Happy American Families Act might permit.. let’s just say that the two-headed, three-eyed, seven-toed voters of South Carolina will finally be set from the stigma of incest peddled by hateful liberals.

  23. 23
    Winston Smith says:

    @morzer:

    “Great Red State Rape Approval Act

    That’s a little much.

    The “Rape Approval Act” seems good enough.

  24. 24
    Dennis G. says:

    @Ija:
    Perhaps over time this site could control that award and the voters would have to decide which BJ posters was the most shrill of all.

    Good times to look forward to…

  25. 25
    kay says:

    When they amended the Ohio constitution to ban gay marriage, they also changed the definition of domestic violence to exclude all except people who were married to each other. There was this mad rush to fix it. Ooops!

    They’re not the sharpest tools in the drawer.

  26. 26
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen: Think of all the doctors, nurses and medical assistants that will be gainfully employed delivering the children of raped mothers. And once the GOP repeals child labor laws, those children will be able to join the janitorial staff of hospitals to make sure things are spic and span for the next wave of rape babies.

  27. 27
    morzer says:

    @Svensker:

    Er.. 45-3.. um.. oh sod it, I hate the Patsies as much as you do, you devious wench!

  28. 28
    Chris says:

    I can just picture the big grin on Alex Knepper’s face right now.

  29. 29
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    This post is clearly shrill. Why sir, do you hate ‘Murka?

  30. 30
    Ija says:

    This would really solve the Douthat dilemma about poor white women preferring abortion to being baby factories for rich white couples. All the infertile white couple has to do is for the husband to seduce some 14-year-old girl (a white girl, of course, this is important), get her pregnant, (she wanted it too, see, so it’s statutory rape, not forced rape), the girl can’t get an abortion, the couple can then sue for custody. Voila, problem solved. No spending thousands of dollars for infertility treatment.

  31. 31
    morzer says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Indeed. How dare anyone restrict the right of American women to be forcibly raped? It’s pure Big Government interference in their lives!

  32. 32
    Pennsylvanian says:

    I just can’t get worked up about this. First of all, Obama wouldn’t sign it. Second, it would change the definition for federal funding to be used for an abortion, not for criminal prosecution or for someone paying for their own abortion. Yeah, he’s a misogynistic prick for even suggesting it, but assholes like this might not be in Congress if the 20 million single women who don’t bother to vote would get engaged.

  33. 33
    shortstop says:

    @Bella Q:

    prior to its crossing of the cervical rubicon.

    Nicely done.

  34. 34
    Jeff Spender says:

    We need a chosen one to bring balance to the force.

    As it stand, the dark side is obscuring everything, stealing my cookies, killing the Jedi Masters, and bitchin’ to itself in the corner.

    This bill is beyond absurd. I simply cannot fathom how the modern Republican party has as much support as it does.

    Are people really this stupid?

  35. 35
    geg6 says:

    @Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people):

    I have no doubt there are already GOPers in the House readying this very argument for the moment David Gregory calls them for an appearance on Press the Meat.

  36. 36
    John PM says:

    I am going to buy stock in the company that makes Roofies because based on this bill the purchase of the drug is going to go through the roof, so to speak.

    I think now would be a good time to once again remind women to never except a drink from a anyone, stranger or someone you know.

  37. 37
    Phoebe says:

    As the law of the land currently stands rape is rape regardless if it was violent, statutory, non-forcible, coercive, or forcible.

    If it’s not any one of these things, then what is your definition of rape? “Rape is rape” doesn’t count.

  38. 38
    Poopyman says:

    @Svensker: Jeezus, this has been going on all morning. Will you two just get a room, please?

  39. 39
    morzer says:

    @Pennsylvanian:

    Are you sure you want to see this kind of thing considered even remotely acceptable in public life? Obama won’t be POTUS forever, and the Kookicans will bring this garbage up again if they can get away with it this time. We can’t just say that it’s no big deal because it won’t fly in 2011. What if the GOP win the White House in 2012?

  40. 40
    scav says:

    I can just imagine the cosy family-values bed-time stories in a few years.

    . . . and we wanted a baby soooo much and prayed and prayed to God to give us one and then God heard our prayer and He made your birth mommy get a nice-cuddly (non-forcible) rape and gave you to us and here you are!

  41. 41
    morzer says:

    @Poopyman:

    It’s more fun in public, with the wind in our hair and jealous bystanders admiring our technique.

  42. 42
    suzanne says:

    @Svensker: You are absolutely 100% right. I know a few people that think they’re all intellectual and independent-minded that spout that shit, and it enrages me. Fuck that noise. The Dems certainly have room to improve, but the other party doesn’t even consider me to be of any worth at all (unless I’m hot, white, and willing to be fruitful and multiply in order to stave off demographic decline).

  43. 43
    morzer says:

    @scav:

    Not forgetting the Deed of Saint Ross of Douthat, who forced himself to force over a thousand women, non-forcibly, so that the US might grow great and strong again by the spreading of his sacred seed.

  44. 44
    shortstop says:

    @Poopyman: Oh, sure, blame the woman! I would rate morzer’s lappy horndog performance more blatant than Svensker’s magic ears tricks, but I’m amused by both and troubled by neither.

  45. 45
    kay says:

    @Pennsylvanian:

    Second, it would change the definition for federal funding to be used for an abortion, not for criminal prosecution or for someone paying for their own abortion.

    I sort of disagree. I think it changes the acceptable parameters, no matter where it’s written into law. It excludes the mental health of the mother, for example, and replaces that with “physical” health.

    I think that by itself is a false and archaic distinction that focuses on women’s reproductive capacity apart from their total health, or essential, whole, well, personhood.

    Which isn’t even true or practical, because mental health is certainly accepted under the rubric of “health”, and has been for a lot of years now, in general.

  46. 46
    ruemara says:

    @Pennsylvanian:

    Let me see if I understand this. You think that because Obama won’t sign it, there’s nothing to be outraged about?

    There you are folks, American Electorate Voting Philosophy writ large. “I Don’t Think Anyone Important Would Support It, So I Won’t Bother Getting Upset Against It.”

  47. 47
    PS says:

    @Pennsylvanian: Is this comment serious? Or is the last phrase about single women getting engaged meant as joke? Either way, it’s, ah, ethically and intellectually challenged.

  48. 48
    Jeff Fecke says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    They don’t worry because if you’re wealthy, you can always pay for your daughter’s abortion. If you have to, you can fly your daughter to New York, but that’s usually not necessary — a good doctor who’s part of your country club will be happy to take care of it.

    Of course, poor girls would have to give birth. But seriously, they’re poor, so screw ’em.

  49. 49
    morzer says:

    @shortstop:

    Actually, she stole the ears from me, so I am wholly responsible – well, except for her being a Bills fan. I am innocent of that charge.

  50. 50
    Kryptik says:

    Anyone willing to take votes on how much this will hurt them in the eyes of that daring, ubiquitous ‘Liberal Media’?

    Yeah, trick question, it won’t hurt them at all. It’ll probably help by creating more unconscious shifts further rightward as the Republicans continue to define the Center as ‘somewhere between Pinochet and Milosevic’.

  51. 51
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    @Phoebe: Reading comprehension ftw.

  52. 52
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @morzer: Ditto this. And, yeah, it’s women’s fault these pricks made it to office? (not directed at you) This is not just a woman’s issue.

    Oh, and ::slaps you with velvet glove again::, you harlot.

  53. 53
    morzer says:

    @shortstop:

    Horndog? I was speaking of cribbage!

  54. 54
    cleek says:

    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.

    that is 100% false.

    the text of the bill says:

    ‘The limitations established in sections 301, 302, 303, and 304 shall not apply to an abortion
    ….
    ‘(1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest; or

  55. 55
    Pennsylvanian says:

    @morzer: Of course it’s not acceptable, but any asshole in Congress can introduce a bill demanding that every American has to go to Washington on an annual basis to kiss the ass of their Congressperson or wear tinfoil hats or cast our votes wearing red shoes. It doesn’t mean anything that it is introduced, and there is wide support on the rape and incest companssion issue, even in Repbulican circles. Plus there is the filibuster (regarding 2012). We can’t stop people in Congress from introducing heinous legislation, so I’m not going to start freaking out about it just yet.

  56. 56

    Well, we all know that Galtian super-men can’t commit rape because the women really did want it.

    I can’t imagine this was the intent of the bill, but if it is true, the sponsor should withdraw it immediately and remove the offending language from the bill.

    Though, who knows, honestly it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that a lot of congressmen have traded in their diaper, bathroom stall, and hooker fetish for an actually underaged Catholic schoolgirl fetish and are trying to cover themselves.

  57. 57
    morzer says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I’ll have you for domestic wossname, I will! Anyway, Svensker’s currently beating me, so you’ll just have to take a number and wait online. Sorry, but you know how busy we are at this time of year.

  58. 58
    Mike E says:

    @Bella Q: This. Very.

    Then there’s the wingers’ attempts at redefining uh, you know, words, and stuff. It don’t mean what your dictionary sez it means! Like a local thumper said on our cable access channel:

    Homophobia- n., the fear of the militant homosexual lobby, which keeps libruls from condemning those damned sodomites.
    Really.

    Wish I was making this shit up. ‘Winger dude was “laying down his life on that hill.”
    Wørd

  59. 59
    scav says:

    @morzer: So long as you’re the right type of rapist, John Gibson would encourage you to “Do your duty. Make more babies,” to save the republic!

  60. 60
    cleek says:

    fuck the “moderation” word filter.

    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.

    this is false.

    read the text of the bill

  61. 61
    geg6 says:

    @Pennsylvanian:

    Second, it would change the definition for federal funding to be used for an abortion, not for criminal prosecution or for someone paying for their own abortion.

    Yeah, because all those young girls who are victims of statutory rape have all kinds of money to pay for their own abortions.

    And that’s not the only problem with your argument. By singling out one type of rape as being somehow different than other types, it easily leads us down the slippery slope to decriminalizing all other types of rape including other rapes under duress (which does not require force but only the threat of force or blackmail).

    As a woman and a feminist who fought through the 70s and 80s to have these laws put into place, I will fight tooth and nail to stop this. And being complacent and saying the Senate and Obama will never let it through is just another way of saying that women and threats to their rights and well-being aren’t worth the effort to defend.

  62. 62
    dmsilev says:

    @Punchy:

    Wait….there’s something called “forcible rape”? Just what rapes ARENT forced? Isn’t that, like, the very definition of rape and precisely what makes it a crime?

    Statutory rape, I would assume. In other words, perhaps we should rename this bill the “Pre-teen forced pregnancy act of 2011”.

    Reminds me inescapably of the Catholic priests in Brazil a couple of years back who excommunicated a bunch of people for the cardinal sin of aiding in an abortion on a nine year old girl who was pregnant by her stepfather. In their eyes, the rape wasn’t nearly as serious a crime as the abortion.

    dms

  63. 63
    Kryptik says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Seriously. This is trying to legislate back to the days where ‘Hey, she was asking for it, she was wearing a tight skirt’ was an actual valid legal defense (which I’m sure it was somewhere once upon a time in America).

    And I’m pretty damn sure it is the intent of the bill. The bill may as well be called the ‘It’s your fault for being a whore’ Act of 2011.

  64. 64
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @morzer: Oh, I see how it is.

  65. 65
    Pennsylvanian says:

    @PS: Um, engaged as in spending five minutes to vote every other year and maybe a few minutes in between to be informed? Engaged in the political discourse? Yes, I am completely serious.

    Did you think I meant, like, married?

  66. 66
    morzer says:

    @scav:

    I wonder if we could sponsor a National Nutrition And Second Amendment Protection Act which would allow one to non-forcibly shoot Republicans, provided it was solely to feed one’s little childers and involved no physical pleasure?

  67. 67
    MattR says:

    I don’t support this law and it seems like a backdoor attempt to demonize women, but at the same time it would be nice if the criticism was based in fact. Specifically, this bill says that the limitations do not apply in the case of forcible rape or in cases of incest or if it is a minor. So the example of a 13 year old having sex with a 24 year old does not apply. There are enough other odious aspects about specifying “forcible rape” that we should be able to focus on those instead.

  68. 68
    Zifnab says:

    So, just out of curiosity, if an illegal immigrant has not-entirely-consensual sex and becomes pregnant, do we detain her until she has the baby and then deport them both?

    I’m wondering how all these new victory whiskey sexy laws are supposed to segway.

  69. 69
    Ija says:

    @Pennsylvanian:

    Yeah, he’s a misogynistic prick for even suggesting it, but assholes like this might not be in Congress if the 20 million single women who don’t bother to vote would get engaged.

    What the hell does that mean? I suggest looking in the mirror first before calling someone else a misogynist, maybe?

  70. 70
    MattR says:

    I don’t support this law and it seems like a backdoor attempt to demonize women, but at the same time it would be nice if the criticism was based in fact. Specifically, this bill says that the limitations do not apply in the case of forcible rape or in cases of 1ncest or if it is a minor. So the example of a 13 year old having sex with a 24 year old does not apply. There are enough other odious aspects about specifying “forcible rape” that we should be able to focus on those instead.

    (Reposted with some alterations to defeat WP)

  71. 71
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Pennsylvanian: Why only direct it at women? Why not men, too? It’s not just a women’s issue.

    @MattR: I’ve heard conflicting reports on the minor part as to whether forcible is applicable to them or not. I would like that cleared up.

  72. 72
    kay says:

    @cleek:

    I did read it. I don’t see the exception for minors.

    I see an exception for minors for rape by family members, and then the forcible rape exception that applies to minors.

  73. 73
    DecidedFenceSitter says:

    @cleek: Um, paragraph 42 from your link:

    ‘SEC. 309. TREATMENT OF ABORTIONS RELATED TO RAPE, INCEST, OR PRESERVING THE LIFE OF THE MOTHER.

    ‘The limitations established in sections 301, 302, 303, and 304 shall not apply to an abortion–

    ‘(1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest; or

    If a 13 year old (a minor) does not have forcible rape with a 24 year who is not a relative (incest) then she wouldn’t be allowed to use state funds for her abortion.

    BTW FYWP Moderation

  74. 74
    Martin says:

    @Zifnab: No, I think you’re supposed to detain her until she has the baby, and then relocate them both to Arizona so they can be shot to death by a wingnut posse.

  75. 75
    Dennis G. says:

    @kay:
    It would not take a defense lawyer very long to argue that the State can not have two definitions of rape and if these Teatards take control the desire to force births will always be greater than the desire to what they view as ‘consensual sex’.

  76. 76
    suzanne says:

    Forgive me for “lowering the tone” or whatever the fuck. But fuck these people.

    Somehow I think they’d rethink their complete opposition to gun control if I started carrying one and happened to, say, shoot someone that I thought was gonna attack me.

  77. 77
    Svensker says:

    @shortstop:

    Blush.

  78. 78
    John PM says:

    I looked up the text of the bill and here is the offending section:

    SEC. 309. TREATMENT OF ABORTIONS RELATED TO RAPE, INCEST, OR PRESERVING THE LIFE OF THE MOTHER.

    `The limitations established in sections 301, 302, 303, and 304 shall not apply to an abortion (1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest

    So, just to be clear, statutory rape of a minor precludes payment for an abortion. Or, if you do not forcibly rape a minor, no payment for an abortion. I can think of nothing better for a minor’s mental health than having to carry to term the baby of the man who non-forcibly raped her.

    Also, the term “forcible rape” is not defined, but if I remember my criminal law class, all rape involves force because rape is by definition non-consensual. This is like calling someone – like, e.g., Congressman Smith – a stupid moron; using both words together is redundant. Of course, the phrasing may just be a clever way to fool the rubes because the federal government would still have to pay for abortions for all rapes.

    By the by, Democrats Heath Schuler of N.C. and Daniel Lipinski of IL are co-sponsors of the bill, so it is not solely Republicans who are pro-rape. Remind me again why Health Schuler lost to Nancy Pelosi? Oh, right, because he is a douchebag!

  79. 79
    kay says:

    @Dennis G.:

    It took about a week for a defense lawyer to use the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage as a defense in a domestic violence case. She won,too.

    They wrote a law to fix it.

  80. 80
    Kryptik says:

    @Dennis G.:

    Might not take long to argue, but whether it’d be successful is up to discussion, what with so many Teahadist judges to wade through, including nearly half of our own damn USSC.

  81. 81
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @suzanne: That’s exactly what I said in the thread below. My takeaway message from this bill is to kill someone if he tries to rape me BEFORE he can rape me, no questions asked.

  82. 82
    shortstop says:

    @Svensker: Meh, I said it was funny. It is.

  83. 83
    Pennsylvanian says:

    @geg6: And how long are we supposed to keep fighting for so many in the next generation who can’t bother themselves to even vote? It gets pretty tiring and I get less and less interested.

    In other countries people walk for days and wait for hours to cast a single vote and here too many people just don’t give a crap.

    Don’t anyone else get outrage fatigue? It can’t be just me.

  84. 84
    cleek says:

    @kay:
    hmm. looks like i may have tripped on a semicolon.

    looks like it does actually limit its applicability to minors only in cases of in ce st.

    crazy.

    i retract my earlier complaint!

  85. 85
    MattR says:

    @asiangrrlMN: It looks pretty clear to me based on the text of the bill Sections 301-304 restrict funds for abortions, tax benefits for abortions, etc. Then section 309 says:

    The limitations established in sections 301, 302, 303, and 304 shall not apply to an abortion–
    __
    (1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of 1ncest; or
    __
    (2) in the case where the pregnant female suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the pregnant female in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.

    So no limitations on abortion in the case of forcible rape and no limitations in the case of the woman being a minor.

  86. 86
    cleek says:

    @kay:

    actually, i can’t tell what it’s saying now. the comma placement makes it ambiguous if in.ces.t is the only exception minors get, or if being a minor is an exception all on its own.

    i give up!

  87. 87
    PS says:

    @Pennsylvanian: Yeah, single women getting engaged traditionally leads to marriage; it’s the word “single” that is the tip-off. I was trying to find a way of reading your comment that was merely tasteless (as in a bad joke) rather than actively offensive.

    Some of the outrage at the bill is caused by the word “forcible,” but even if that were removed, this would still be an appalling attempt to roll back rights that were hard won a generation ago. This really is one of those “first they came for …” moments. We cannot rely upon the veto, or the Senate, and just let this kind of extremism go unchallenged.

  88. 88
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @MattR: The way I read that is that if the minor got pregnant because of insects or force, but a 24 year old man having sex with a 13 year old isn’t necessarily either, though it is, by default, statutory rape.

    @Pennsylvanian: Oh, I get the outrage fatigue. Believe me, I do. But I don’t think the answer is “Let everyone suffer for the ills of some” or even, “Let them suffer for what they have wrought” (unless it’s the rightwingers. I admit, I don’t care so much if they suffer for what they’ve wrought, which is not very big of me).

    Ah, and now I see the cleek and kay debate. I’m confused, too.

  89. 89
    Kryptik says:

    @MattR:

    I just double read that. And I believe Kay’s take on it is more apt. It seems to suggest that minors are only exempt from limitations in cases of ‘forcible rape’ or incest. Nothing about flat out statuatory or coercive rape, even in the case of the minor.

  90. 90
    suzanne says:

    @Pennsylvanian:

    And how long are we supposed to keep fighting for so many in the next generation who can’t bother themselves to even vote?

    Until the fight is won.

    It gets pretty tiring and I get less and less interested.

    Sorry that my fundamental rights aren’t as riveting as The Price is Right.

  91. 91
    Nerull says:

    Relevant text:

    ‘The limitations established in sections 301, 302, 303, and 304 shall not apply to an abortion–
    3
    ‘(1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest; or
    ‘(2) in the case where the pregnant female suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the pregnant female in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.

    The part on minors is ambiguous – I’m not certain how it should be parsed. Maybe someone better at legalese could figure it out. I could see both ways – minors OR incest, or minors if incest.

  92. 92
    Kryptik says:

    I just double read that. And I believe Kay’s take on it is more apt. It seems to suggest that minors are only exempt from limitations in cases of ‘forcible rape’ or in-cest (FYWP). Nothing about flat out statuatory or coercive rape, even in the case of the minor.

  93. 93
    D. Mason says:

    Me thinks a certain cartoon bear, recently banned in California, might be paying a special visit to a certain Congressman Smith.

  94. 94
    kay says:

    @MattR:

    or in cases of 1ncest or if it is a minor.

    I think you’re adding an “or”.

  95. 95
    JG says:

    There are even further problematic provisions. First off, it basically doesn’t allow any military member to ever have an abortion at all, because no federal facility or medical professional employed by the federal government may provide abortions. This also means no health plan for any federal employee can cover abortions. You also can’t deduct your health care costs on your taxes if your plan even includes abortion coverage, notwithstanding whether or not you actually have one.

    It does carve out incest involving minors, but the definition of “forcible” rape versus just “rape” is nonsensical. And it doesn’t protect all minors or all cases of incest. There is no comma before the or, it’s after.

    I think any organizing against this horrible bill should call it the Rapist Procreation and Protection Act. Makes Obamacare sound like a quaint nickname by comparison, no?

  96. 96
    4jkb4ia says:

    Supposed to be writing about neocons/Egypt/the FCIC. But this is horrible. Statutory rape laws are there to protect minors, aka children. The point of parental consent laws for abortion is that these young women are not supposed to be knowing what they are doing–more so if they think they consented to sex with an adult.

  97. 97
    Brachiator says:

    So, if Republican women, and women in general, are fine with this stupidity, then we all have a bunch of problems. And it is not that it’s primarily a women’s issue, but if those who this bill is aimed act passively accept it, then it makes it harder to rally opposition.

  98. 98
    MattR says:

    @cleek: @kay: Yikes. Now that you point it out, the grammar is ambiguous. If it is the more restrictive reading, that would mean that adults who become pregnant as the result of 1ncest would not be eligible for federal assistance for the abortion. That seems like a bit too much for them to try and push through.

  99. 99
    kay says:

    @cleek:

    I think comma then semi-colon is clear. Forcible rape overall, then rape by family members goes with minor.

  100. 100
    Svensker says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    the minor got pregnant because of insects or force

    It took me a while to figure out what you meant… I thought you were going all Burt Gordon on us.

  101. 101
    PTirebiter says:

    @Jeff Fecke: Exactly. The congressman is a terminal douche, but at least he’s an honest douche. If you believe a fetus enjoys rights independent of the mother, rape is irrelevant. We don’t punish the child for the sins of its father. The idea goes beyond government funding as well. You can’t reason with these idiots, you must publicly block their every move.

  102. 102
    Kryptik says:

    @Brachiator:

    Upton Sinclair once said “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.

    I think that needs a corollary in regards to the GOP, as it seems like, for your average Gooper, it’s difficult to get them to accept the necessity of certain rights if it means taxes or De-Jesusifying anything.

  103. 103
    Bondo says:

    This is a bad proposal, but:

    1. It doesn’t redefine rape for the purpose of criminal prosecution of rape, just for the application of a rape exception for federally funded abortions.

    2. It doesn’t prevent women from seeking an abortion not funded by federal funds. So it isn’t forcing anyone to have a baby (just resulting in more people having babies they wouldn’t otherwise have).

    3. Using the language of “child predators” and the like to tear down the Republicans here is disturbing from me since most child predators in this case would be an 18 year old who knocks up his 15 year old girlfriend. She should be able to get an abortion so the Republicans are wrong but that also shouldn’t be considered rape like it is in many states and shouldn’t result in the guy being considered a sex offender. It just bothers me that so many liberals are buying into a toxic conception that denies girls the right to control their own sexuality just because it allows them to win partisan points.

  104. 104
    Splitting Image says:

    I would call this the Polanski Protection Act.

    The language removes from the definition of rape the two things people find most odious about drugging a 13-year old girl so you can have sex with her.

    I think if the law passes, we should mount a challenge to it in Oklahoma so that their ban on sharia law would force it to be thrown out.

  105. 105
    Kryptik says:

    @PTirebiter:

    My issue is that they’re more than willing to punish the mother for the sins of the father. The whole mindset essentially relegates a woman to simply that of a spermtank/incubator. And that’s such an absurd thing in this day and age.

  106. 106
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Brachiator: This, I agree with. Big sigh.

    @Svensker: Heh. Yeah, it’s my own personal way of getting around the dreaded I word.

  107. 107
    shortstop says:

    No, look, “if a minor” is a dependent clause. It’s forcible rape for everyone, incest only if you’re a minor.

    asiangrrl, now I can’t get that dream bug birth scene with Geena Davis in The Fly out of my mind. Gross!

  108. 108
    cleek says:

    @kay:
    the more i look, the more i agree with you.

    but it just seems so patently politically absurd. a pregnant 10 year old is cool as long as she wasn’t ‘forced’ and the father wasn’t a close family member? that’s the kind of shit that breeds attack ads.

  109. 109
    kay says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    If they wanted to exempt minors completely, they’d use a semi colon after “if a minor”.

    That actually isn’t what’s chilling about it.

    I hung up on “the pregnant female”

    This may be one time where we could just use the statute to completely horrify women.

  110. 110
    PS says:

    @PTirebiter: Yes. Please note that they can amend the language to clarify it and the principle behind the bill will still be unacceptable.

    (I said so at more length and some piece of software seems to have eaten it, perhaps because I linked to a WashPo article about writing the rules that implement the healthcare act. Look for it!)

  111. 111
    Kryptik says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Are you’re sure that wasn’t a freudian slip? I think maybe someone developed a fetish after watching a certain Jeff Goldblum remake of a certain horror movie about a certain i-word.

    :D

  112. 112
    JG says:

    **Apologies if this is a re-post due to moderation issues.

    There are even further problematic provisions. First off, it basically doesn’t allow any military member to ever have an abortion at all, because no federal facility or medical professional employed by the federal government may provide abortions and that severely limits options for deployed women. This also means no health plan for any federal employee can cover abortions because of employer contribution. You also can’t deduct your health care costs on your taxes if your plan even includes abortion coverage, notwithstanding whether or not you actually have one.

    It does carve out in-cest (FYWP) involving minors, but the definition of “forcible” rape versus just “rape” is nonsensical as it introduces ambiguity as we’ve seen in discussions here – some states have forcible rape versus statutory rape or other definitions which could lead to some things not covered, so ether define your f*cking terms in the law or don’t introduce ambiguity.

    And it doesn’t protect all minors or even all cases of in-cest (FYWP) such as in-cest with a mentally challenged adult who is abused. There is no comma before the “or” so it is not a list and that phrase set off by commas “if a minor” modifies “an act of in-cest” and limits it the protection on both counts.

    I think any organizing against this horrible bill should call it the Rapist Procreation and Protection Act. Makes Obamacare sound like a quaint nickname by comparison, no?

  113. 113
    kay says:

    @cleek:

    They have another problem. They have an “adult disabled women who are raped by family members” problem.

    Which, sadly, happens. They’re so reckless and cavalier with women’s lives. It’s just rage-inducing.

  114. 114
    suzanne says:

    @Bondo:

    So it isn’t forcing anyone to have a baby (just resulting in more people having babies they wouldn’t otherwise have).

    Oh, well, that’s okay then.

    It just bothers me that so many liberals are buying into a toxic conception that denies girls the right to control their own sexuality just because it allows them to win partisan points.

    See? SEE? *BOTH SIDES DO IT!*

    Go fuck yourself.

  115. 115
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kay: I read it that way too… but it took me two tries. It does seem to suggest that there are two exceptions in there, “forcible rape” against anyone and “1ncest” against minors. Come to think of it, it seems to prohibit federal funds from being used to pay for abortions in cases of 1ncest where both partners are of age, too.

  116. 116
    Eric says:

    Could someone explain to me this part of the bill?

    http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3/text

    “‘The limitations established in sections 301, 302, 303, and 304 shall not apply to an abortion–

    3
    ‘(1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest; or”

    Uh, isn’t that an exemption for incest and statutory rape?

    Look, I hate the Republicans, but it seems you are accusing them incorrectly here.

    *Edit* oh, wait, I see that statutory NON-incestuous sex would not be protected. That’s not cool.

  117. 117
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Kryptik: Considering I never heard of said movie until now….

    @kay: Yeah. I read it the way you did. I just…I am pretty damn disheartened by this. It seems as if we are moving steadily backwards in the area of women’s rights.

  118. 118
    PTirebiter says:

    @PS:

    they can amend the language to clarify it and the principle behind the bill will still be unacceptable.

    Exactly. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds. You can’t be “pro-life” and accept any exceptions, including any for the health of the mother. These jack-wagons can’t be given an inch, even for the sake of civility.

  119. 119
    quaint irene says:

    As a New Jerseyan, I’m just so thrilled with this latest bit of political dreck coming from our state Republicans. First Christie mucks up that federal school funding, suspends property tax rebates while reneging on his campaign promise to raise taxes on the wealthiest, is determined to screw over NJ’s teachers….
    Like these snow storms, they just keep coming!

  120. 120
    Bondo says:

    @suzanne:

    Excuse me for trying for some precision in describing what is being proposed and not agreeing with the hyperbole. That doesn’t change that I’m 100% opposed to the Republican proposal.

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bondo:

    It doesn’t prevent women from seeking an abortion not funded by federal funds. So it isn’t forcing anyone to have a baby (just resulting in more people having babies they wouldn’t otherwise have).

    You seem to have a very similar definition of the word “force” as the authors of this bill. I guess that if the police don’t arrest you and throw you in jail for the duration of your pregnancy, you’re not really being “forced” to have the baby by the government.

    Think of it this way. Imagine that you need a kidney transplant. Medicare won’t pay for it because some Republicans somewhere decided they’re unethical and the government shouldn’t pay for them.

    Is that law forcing you to stay on dialysis for the rest of your life? Or are you just getting dialysis that you wouldn’t otherwise have, so no harm, no foul?

  122. 122
    MattR says:

    @asiangrrlMN: In my defense, the language is so patently absurd* that my brain automatically translated it from reptillian Republican into human.

    * – I better attribute that phrase to cleek lest I be charged with plagiarism :)

  123. 123
    geg6 says:

    @cleek:

    You need to read that paragraph again.

    if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest;

    If the victim is a minor and was raped in the act of incest, it’s all good. If it’s merely statutory rape or non-violent rape under duress, she’s a slut and deserves to be forced to give birth.

  124. 124
    kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    It just strikes me as a cold piece of work.

    Striking how they drop all the soft-focus sweet talk about the sanctity of life and how we revere mothers when they’re getting down to brass tacks. There’s nothing in there about the mother at all, except a reluctant allowance in the case of her impending death.

    My issue with abortion is that I am convinced that if we set this up as a contest, where we have to choose (and we will, have to choose, inevitably, in certain situations) women’s lives and health will come last. Nothing the pro-life movement has done or said has persuaded me that that won’t happen, so I have to give the woman control. It always comes back to that, for me.

  125. 125
    geg6 says:

    Goddam it! I’m in moderation.

    Here it is again:

    cleek@54:

    You need to read that paragraph again.

    if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of in cest;

    If the victim is a minor and was raped in the act of in cest, it’s all good. If it’s merely statutory rape or non-violent rape under duress, she’s a slut and deserves to be forced to give birth.

  126. 126
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @kay: Yep. I am with you here as well. I will choose the viable, breathing, living person (the girl/woman) over the fetus, cells, zygote, embryo, whatever. I make no apologies for that. Anything else is just white noise.

  127. 127
    JG says:

    I’m thinking way too much about statutory interpretation here, but for anyone claiming that “forcible rape” isn’t an issue because all rape is forcible I’d encourage you to consider the following two things.

    First, we’re not talking about how humans think of things, we’re talking statutory interpretation. Non-consensual and forcible do not necessarily equate in some state statutory schemes. Not because there is a judgment that date rape isn’t (in common language) forcing someone to have sex, but “forcible” under some random state code may mean physical force/violence or the threat thereof and they’ve also included a crime like rape under duress or the influence of drugs.

    Second, “forcible rape” cannot include all forms of rape if the statute then needs to specifically mention the category of in.cest involving minors. A minor can never consent so if the “forcible rape = all rape” interpretation was correct it would be an unnecessary clarification. While it is in.cest when someone has sex with their child it is also rape.

  128. 128
    Ija says:

    @JG:

    Non-consensual and forcible do not necessarily equate in some state statutory schemes.

    Really? In what states?

  129. 129
    Ija says:

    I guess we don’t have to wait for Douthat or Saletan to write that column about how this law is actually not that bad/kind of reasonable actually. Some here are already doing a good job of that. Maybe you guys can email Douthat or Saletan to provide suggestions. I’m sure they will appreciate it.

  130. 130
    Emma says:

    Cleek: it took me several reading until I came to that conclusion, but yes, the “if a minor” is a secondary clause. So, those girls who escape from those fundamentalist mormon cults where they’re married off at 13 to some 60 year old guy? Tough on you, girl. Unless he beat the beejezuz out of you it wasn’t rape.

  131. 131
    blondie says:

    There is something really wrong with these people.

  132. 132
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @blondie: I very much agree with this, wholeheartedly.

  133. 133
    cleek says:

    @MattR:

    my brain automatically translated it from reptillian Republican into human.

    i think that’s exactly what happened to me, too.

    we automatically assume the plausible when the alternative makes no sense at all.

    but when it comes to wingnuts, i suppose should know better by now.

  134. 134
    morzer says:

    @cleek:

    Wignuts? You mean easily enraged imbeciles with bad hair-pieces? Come to think of it, that pretty much is the GOP these days.

    Update: Damn, you changed the typo!

  135. 135
  136. 136
    Phoebe says:

    @Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac: Did you mean “reading comprehension fail”? I’m confused by the internet tradition sometimes. And if so, then please explain. I’m not a fan of this already, mainly because I can’t think of a better use of taxpayer money than abortions, but we have to watch out for loosey goosey definitions of rape, or it can slide into sex-I-regret-having-had, or as a Public Defender Investigator I know put it, “bonker’s remorse”.

  137. 137
    PS says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Me too. OK, three. Many.

  138. 138
    Brachiator says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    This, I agree with. Big sigh.

    I am so pro-choice that a couple of times, jogging by a Planned Parenthood office, I stopped by and made an extra donation. People in my life have been deeply involved in helping women secure reproductive rights.

    But the GOP is living in some fantasy land where women are as blissfully ignorant as Bristol Palin, and they seem to believe that the natural and inevitable consequence of having sex is pregnancy, and that the reward for having a baby is an appearance on Dancing With the Stars.

    And so the question is, is this what women want for themselves, and for their daughters? And is this the burden that they want to drape upon women and men?

    @Kryptik:

    I think that needs a corollary in regards to the GOP, as it seems like, for your average Gooper, it’s difficult to get them to accept the necessity of certain rights if it means taxes or De-Jesusifying anything.

    No, it’s more basic than this. The Tea Party people, the fundamentalists and some mainstream GOPpers (and they are not the same people) believe that life is supposed to punish you or make you more responsible. And they are stuck on the supposed sanctity of the unborn that everything else in the world is supposed to follow from making sure that sex leads to pregnancy, and that all pregnancies be carried to term, no matter what the circumstances.

    By the way, this makes ALL GOP politicians fair game for the following question, male or female. “Have you ever had an abortion, paid for an abortion, or secured an abortion for a spouse, friend, child or loved one? Do you use any method of birth control other than the rhythm method? If you do not have children, why have you not adopted a child? When do you plan on adopting a child?”

  139. 139
    Ija says:

    @Phoebe:

    … but we have to watch out for loosey goosey definitions of rape, or it can slide into sex-I-regret-having-had, or as a Public Defender Investigator I know put it, “bonker’s remorse”.

    Seriously?? Where to even begin? Fuck it, I’m too tired for this shit. Anyone wants to tackle this?

  140. 140
    Erik Vanderhoff says:

    @Punchy: Just like how it’s not torture if there’s no hitting.

  141. 141
    TOP123 says:

    @quaint irene: Don’t forget the ARC/Hudson River tunnel! ;)

  142. 142
    A Midnight Marauder At Balloon-Juice says:

    @MattR:

    Yikes. Now that you point it out, the grammar is ambiguous. If it is the more restrictive reading, that would mean that adults who become pregnant as the result of 1ncest would not be eligible for federal assistance for the abortion. That seems like a bit too much for them to try and push through.

    No, it does not. Because they are trying to push it through right fucking now.

  143. 143
    batgirl says:

    Oh, look, the rat fuck Dan Lipinski, is a co-sponsor. Oh, why oh why can’t we have better Democrats?

  144. 144
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ija:

    Really? In what states?

    I think California is one. Otherwise, rapists were trying to claim that if the victim wasn’t beaten bloody, clearly she was lying about being raped. So there’s forcible rape, rape by coercion, rape by drug, rape under color of authority, etc.

  145. 145
    TOP123 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Right, I really detest the ‘no-one’s forcing the woman, we’re just not paying for it, throwing up a ton of restrictions, etc.’ defence. And now they’re even attempting to redefine rape. Holy hell. As Erik Vanderhoff said @140 above, it’s like our new concept of torture only including massive physical abuse.

    What infuriates me as well is the absurdity of the whole national discussion that allows tricks like this. As loathsome as I find this new proposal–and it is sick–I don’t understand how anyone can make the argument for any of these restrictions in the first place. Abortion is a legally protected right and a private medical matter for the woman. It should be treated as such and always funded in case of need–there shouldn’t have to be exceptions to allow funding in the case of rape, any rape.

    If the Christian Fundamentalists don’t like it, they can refund my money that goes to government funded activities I am opposed to. To allow the Anti-Choice people to frame a legal right as wrong or evil or icky and thus, though legal, unworthy of Federal funds, strikes me as a lot like saying, for example, that we can start carving out funding exceptions in public housing vis-a-vis Muslims because their religion is different from the accepted Republican one.

  146. 146
    geg6 says:

    @Pennsylvanian:

    And how long are we supposed to keep fighting for so many in the next generation who can’t bother themselves to even vote? It gets pretty tiring and I get less and less interested.

    Wow. Just…wow.

    As long as it takes. As fucking long as it fucking takes.

  147. 147
    Pennsylvanian says:

    @Ija: Looks like someone else only knows one definition of engaged. ENGAGED in the political process, anyone?

    Easier to not think it through and attribute the darkest intentions, I suppose.

  148. 148
    Left Coast Tom says:

    @Bondo:

    2. It doesn’t prevent women from seeking an abortion not funded by federal funds. So it isn’t forcing anyone to have a baby (just resulting in more people having babies they wouldn’t otherwise have).

    I think it’s fair to say that the practical effect would be to force some rape victims to have a baby, even if the text of the law doesn’t say that. After all:

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. – Anatole France

  149. 149
    morzer says:

    @Pennsylvanian:

    assholes like this might not be in Congress if the 20 million single women who don’t bother to vote would get engaged

    Why not blame the single men, or married women, or in general the inert mass of Americans who didn’t care enough about good government and civil liberties to vote at all? Why should you assign all the blame to single women?

  150. 150
    morzer says:

    And how long are we supposed to keep fighting for so many in the next generation who can’t bother themselves to even vote? It gets pretty tiring and I get less and less interested.

    On the one hand you denounce others for not being engaged, and then you announce that you yourself don’t particularly care about sharing that engagement, and maybe it’s time to give up. Can you see why it’s hard to take your attitude seriously?

  151. 151
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Pennsylvanian:

    Looks like someone else only knows one definition of engaged. ENGAGED in the political process, anyone?
    __
    Easier to not think it through and attribute the darkest intentions, I suppose.

    It’s less about “attributing the darkest intentions,” and more of the fact that you produced an exceptionally poorly-worded sentence.

    Yeah, he’s a misogynistic prick for even suggesting it, but assholes like this might not be in Congress if the 20 million single women who don’t bother to vote would get engaged.

    I mean, if you don’t see how haphazardly constructed that is, then you should really take some time away from writing.

  152. 152
    geg6 says:

    @morzer:

    On the one hand you denounce others for not being engaged, and then you announce that you yourself don’t particularly care about sharing that engagement, and maybe it’s time to give up.

    That’s the fault of single women, too, I’m sure.

    /single woman’s pissed off snark

  153. 153
    Dennis G. says:

    @Bondo:
    1. It provides a new State sponsored definition of rape that will be used to muddy the waters and weaken criminal prosecutions. It is a major step backwards.

    2. The goal of the Legislation is to prevent any health insurance anywhere from covering abortion as a medical procedure. The goal is to make abortion out of the reach of all except those wealthy enough to pay for one out of pocket. This is all about using the power of the State to force every pregnancy to term. This legislation is an expansion of State control over the Liberty and bodies of our fellow Americans. It is radical, abusive and dangerous. If they get this, the next attack on our Liberty will be greater.

    3. The legislation protects rapists and gives them new powers over their victims. And these rapists empowered by this legislation include “child predators”. It is quite fair to call them out on this as far as I am concerned. Your cited concern is a red herring.

    Cheers

  154. 154
    Phoebe says:

    @Ija:

    Non-consensual and forcible do not necessarily equate in some state statutory schemes. … Really? In what states?

    Alaska for one. I don’t know about across the nation. But in Alaska force is explicitly not required [but is of course sufficient] to manifest lack of consent, but there does have to be a manifestation. That is, the alleged rapist does have to know that this is not consensual; it can’t all take place in the mind of the “victim”. Is that okay with you?

  155. 155
    RSA says:

    @JG:

    I’m thinking way too much about statutory interpretation here, but for anyone claiming that “forcible rape” isn’t an issue because all rape is forcible I’d encourage you to consider the following two things.

    Thanks for the brief analysis. We’re already seeing this claim made by wingnuts in various places, that “forcible” is descriptive but not restrictive.

  156. 156
    Ecks says:

    Trying to figure out what “forcible rape” really means, I did some googling and found this. It seems to depend widely on the state, and to have changed over time. Originally rape only ever counted if there was direct physical force of a man putting his pe.nis into a woman’s vag.ina (FYWP), with physical resistance from the woman. Over time places realized this is overbroad, and have shifted to varying degrees towards a philosophy that rape is about protecting people’s se.xual autonomy. Here’s a telling bit:

    nearly all courts insist that the injury feared must involve bodily harm; coercion by threats to inflict nonphysical injury is generally considered insufficient. In State v. Thompson, 792 P.2d 1103 (Mont. 1990), a high school principal allegedly compelled a student to submit to intercourse by threatening to prevent her from graduating. The court held that this threat, though clearly coercive, did not make the principal guilty of rape because he had not threatened any physical harm.
    &nbpsp;
    A few states have modified the strict rule that force must involve physical violence. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has held that force includes “[any] superior force—physical, moral, psychological, or intellectual—[used] to compel a person to do a thing against that person’s volition” (Commonwealth v. Rhodes, 510 A.2d 1217, 1225 (Pa. 1986)). This approach avoids the narrow strictures of the physical force requirement. But as it leaves unclear the line between compulsion and legitimate persuasion, there is concern about its potential vagueness.

    some courts have ruled that “when a woman says ‘no’ to someone[,] any implication other than a manifestation of non-consent that might arise in that person’s psyche is legally irrelevant” (Commonwealth v. Lefkowitz, 481 N.E.2d 277, 232 (Mass. App. 1985)). Legally, in other words, “no” always means no in these jurisdictions.
     
    Even this relatively strict approach, however, leaves open the problem of determining consent when a woman’s response to a sexual advance is vague or ambivalent…
     
    Accordingly, a number of states now define consent as affirmative permission. One statute, for example, states, “‘Consent’ means that at the time of the act of sexual intercourse there are actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse” (Wash. Rev. Code 9A.444.010(6)(1981)). This approach reflects the view that rape law should not apply only in cases of active resistance and should fully protect sexual autonomy.

    BTW, parsing the bill:

    if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape

    In some states then, “rape” already requires physical force. In others this would split off some forms of rape as different in kind. In some places this distinction is already made in a sort of ‘good’ way, whereby the use of force is considered an aggravating factor that makes punishment worse, and thus helps solve the problem of extremely harsh minimal sentences for very borderline cases where consent was maybe marginal.

    According to this website, forcible rape is defined as:

    Forcible Rape, by UCR definition, it the carnal knowledge of a person forcibly or against that person’s will, or when a victim is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent. Attempts to commit rape are included in this category…

    I think this is the South Carolina definition, so probably doesn’t apply elsewhere.

    I have no idea what the standard is for “against that person’s will” – does it include blackmail where they technically use the word “yes”? In any event “carnal knowledge” apparently means pen.is in vag.ina sex, so other orifices or appendages wouldn’t count. Which in this day and age is MESSED UP.

    or, if a minor, an act of in.cest

    So,
    in.cest between non-minors: abortion not covered.
    in.cest between minors: abortion is covered.
    sex between an unrelated minor and non-minor: abortion not covered.

    Edit: The South Carolina def’n of “forcible rape” is missing the link. It’s this one: http://www.sled.state.sc.us/sl.....rvice=Rape

  157. 157
    Kirbster says:

    Since they can’t force the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade yet, the zealots are just going to make abortions more difficult to get. The aim is to force private health insurance plans to drop abortion as a covered medical procedure by killing an employers’ tax exemption for choosing a plan that covers abortion and some types of birth control (IUDs). It’s blackmail, and definitely a “government takeover” of private healthcare. If the ACA is derisively called “Obamacare”, this turkey of a bill (H.R. 3) should certainly be tagged as “Boehnercare”.

  158. 158
    debbie says:

    Isn’t the real danger of this law that if it does pass, some defense attorney can use this very narrow definiton of rape to get his scumbag client off the hook?

  159. 159
    Ecks says:

    @debbie: Not sure that I can see how that would happen, but I guess that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t.

    To be totally fair, the GOP is generally in favor of punishing rapists. And severely too. They’re just not very averse to punishing the victims as well, especially when they can be totally assured that the victims are always women, and never ever ever old white guys.

  160. 160
    TOP123 says:

    @Kirbster: Exactly! Which is why the ‘moderate’ ‘compromise’ position, allowing restrictions on funding or access as long as there are exceptions for rape, in-cest, and the life of the mother, is dangerous and unacceptable. A woman’s rights shouldn’t be compromised, even if the supposed strategy worked to protect the right to choose–and I believe it does just the opposite. Unjust and stupid.

  161. 161
    Uriel says:

    Just have to say- this, from the comments in the comments at Benen’s, is just a really well turned summation of our current political landscape:

    The GOP is the political vector for single-issue zealotry. Abortion, gun rights, property rights, Christian victimhood, anti-tax millenialism, Creationism, et al, locate the soreheads, galvanize and network them, give them credibility, and then shift the national discourse from real issues to these boutique grievances.
    ….
    And it works.

    Excellent, accurate and succient. Should be appended to every press relase Mae by any republican, anywhere. Credit where credit is due.

  162. 162
    Uriel says:

    OK- can’t edit on an itouch. Wich seems especially cruel given the vagarities of it’s krrrrazy spelling prediction. But, obviously, ‘made’ not ‘mae.’

  163. 163
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Phoebe: Not really as it’s probably used to distort what it means to ‘know’ if someone consented or not.

    And, your other statement is wearying because the fact is, far more women are likely to NOT report rape because of the attitude you espouse than are to falsely accuse someone of rape, especially in a court of law. The system is not kind to victims of rape.

    @Ecks: Really.

    To be totally fair, the GOP is generally in favor of punishing rapists. And severely too.

    And you based this sentence on what? I don’t see Republicans giving a shit about rape in general.

  164. 164
    Ija says:

    @Phoebe:

    Of course most rapes occur in the minds of “bonkers” “victims”, right? Or women who regret having sex?

  165. 165
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    @kay: FWIW, my reading is identical to kay’s. It’s a spectacularly sucky bill.

  166. 166
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    @debbie: No the real danger is that female control of our bodies will be limited. And that’s a much more widespread danger that the extremely-unlikely-to-be-successful attempt to have a judge redefine a statutory crime based on a funding bill definition. That’s not how law works. Though Gohmert was a judge in Texas, so all bets might be off there.

  167. 167

    @scav:

    Here in the enlightened state of North Carolina, we even have a sitting legislator who stated in session that “it’s a well known fact that women can’t conceive unless they enjoy the act.”

  168. 168
    juandos says:

    Is this an attempt, a truly pathetic attempt to divert attention away from the Kenyan Kommie Klown’s $1.5 trillion deficit?

  169. 169
    Yestra says:

    “Bill’s assurance that anybody they get pregnant will be forced by the State to carry the child to term.”

    “and could force all rape victims—regardless of the violence of the crime—to have the child of their rapist.”

    I get that this is fundies trying to chip away at abortion rights, which I don’t agree with, but why choose to frame the argument as “forced” to carry a child to term or that it would affect all victims of rape. I assume because of the Federal money that it would apply only to people covered by Medicaid, not any rape victim anywhere?

    It makes it sound like abortion would be prohibited by law and the state would have the right to actually prevent someone from obtaining an abortion.

    It is a semi-honest, disingenuous appeal to emotion, not entirely unlike Fundies calling a non-sentient 3-week clusters of cells a “baby.” Tugs at each side’s sympathies.

    Please don’t yell at me. Once again, I don’t want abortion rights restricted.

    Yes, there would be force here. Forced to come up with $300 to pay their Medicaid doctor directly, or forced to ask the State Social Services to help, using a victims fund, or forced to call Planned Parenthood and ask for help, but nobody would be “forced to carry a child to term” unless they are literally unable to come up with $300. Even the worst off in society, and even Republican officials, can do the math and know that raising a baby (with or without housing subsidies, food help, tax credits) is way more expensive than coming up with $300. So practically, how many women would actually carry a rape baby to term purely because of the $ involved? So it wouldn’t affect the actual abortion rate, just introduce a speed bump, and just sew a scarlett letter on girls in a bad situation to shame them. And not even be a cost saving measure! So these might be a better angle to argue the case than imply it would somehow force all rape victims to bear rapists babies by law.

  170. 170
    Ecks says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Crime. Republicans are all about severe punishment for crime. It probably helps that they imagine rapists are almost always dark skinned men coming after our wimminz. When a white guy rapes a black woman, well, mumble mumble, she probably invited it or something. And when a rich white guy rapes a poor woman, well, y’know, mumble mumble too. But rape, in general terms, goes under their regular heading on crime: “throw away the key”.

  171. 171
    Ecks says:

    @Yestra:
    Not just women on medicare. Right now most people who get private health care get it from their employer (congrats, IBM hires you, you now get covered by the health care plan IBM purchases for its employees). And why are employers so keen to buy insurance for their workers? Because the money that they spend on this is tax deductible. If they pay you $1,000 in salary, you get maybe $600 of that. If they pay you $1,000 in medical benefits, you get $1,000 of that coverage. So they can offer you more in compensation for the same total cost. That’s a good deal for them.

    If this bill became law, then any plan an employer would consider buying would not be tax deductible anymore if it covered abortion. So employers wouldn’t buy those plans. So insurance companies would basically stop offering them.

    Is $300 then an insurmountable obstacle? For middle class and wealthy people no, it’s not. For people working two jobs who already need more money than they are making to cover rent + food + meds + child care + heaven knows what… yes, it’s a huge problem and really could “force” them to carry a baby to term (or to abort the baby but now no longer have enough money to cover rent, and leaving them with certainly not enough money to cover the first + last months rent they need to have up front to find a new apartment, which leaves them bang out of livable options.

    That’s why.

  172. 172
    TenguPhule says:

    And yet there are women who still support the GOP.

    It’s like sheep running a slaughterhouse.

    I despair for our future as a viable species at this point.

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