Under the new extreme anti-choice leadership of the House of Representatives, Republicans are coming out of the woodwork to propose and pass legislation radically restricting women’s access to abortion services.
For instance, Rep. Chris Smith (R- N.J.) introduced the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” earlier this month which would radically change tax credits for health care plans in the U.S. This Act would deny tax credits to businesses that provide abortion services (even if no federal funds are used to fund abortions), and would even prevent someone from taking income tax deductions for medical expenses for any health plan that covered abortions.
But that’s not all that the Act would do. The act would also redefine the exemption for federal funded abortions in cases of rape to only apply to instances of “forcible rape.” What does that mean, you ask? Well, the criminal code of the US has no definition for “forcible rape,” and the bill sponsored by Rep. Smith doesn’t provide a definition either. This leaves the door open for anyone to make an interpretation of what forcible rape means to them — but this leaves out a critical truth: rape can take place without the use of force.
This new definition of rape means that victims of rape who are drugged, given excessive amounts of alcohol, mentally unable to give consent, or underage victims of statutory rape will NOT be able to receive federal funds for an abortion under the proposed law.
Obviously, this is ridiculous. Just saying “no” or refusal to give consent is enough, in the criminal code, to constitute rape. Anti-choice members of Congress are developing their own definition to try to find more ways to restrict women’s access to abortion. Not only is it disgusting and insulting to men and women, but it promotes a culture that treats rape as an acceptable offense. We can not go back to a culture and legal system that says some instances of rape are okay, or that rape is alright as long as you don’t hit the woman. Rape is never okay, and a woman should never be required to bear the consequences of a crime that she did nothing to deserve.