What is happening in the US House right now is a woman’s issue. H.R. 3 is not about being pro-choice or pro-life. It isn’t about the GOP and some Democrats (sadly two of Illinois’ Democratic Congressmen) deciding whether or not abortion is moral. H.R. 3 is about Republicans and some Democrats attempt at redefining rape and determining what legal medical care women can receive due to their economic status.
We’ve all used phrases like “date-rape,” “spousal-rape,” even Whoopi’s “rape-rape.” While each of these has its own social stigma for some people, we thought for sure we were all able to agree on the meaning of “non-consensual.” Apparently, we were wrong.
H.R. 3 SEC. 309 says: [emphasis ours]
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
(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.
But isn’t this just making the Hyde Amendment permanent? Not so much. The Hyde Amendment (and other restrictions passed by Congress and even an Executive Order from President Obama) prevents federal funds from being used to pay for abortions, but allows for abortions in the case of any sexual assault considered rape and victims of incest at any age.
If H.R. 3 is passed, saying “no” will no longer be enough–you’ll have to physically fight the attacker(s). If you’re unconscious because you’ve been drugged? Sorry, that’s not rape-rape. Victim of statutory rape? Doesn’t count. Spousal-rape? Nope. Over 18 years old and a victim of incest? Sorry, you’re going to have to carry to term.
We don’t mean to seem flippant; we are simply in complete disbelief that this is an issue before Congress at all-but especially when so many Americans are out of work, losing their homes, not being able to feed their children—the list goes on and on. But, here we are.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) sums it up best (worst?):
“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,” Wasserman Schultz said.
“Rape is when a woman is forced to have sex against her will, and that is whether she is conscious, unconscious, mentally stable, not mentally stable,” the four-term congresswoman added.
We second her motion.
Now we can go on for days about the hypocrisy of Republicans claiming they want a small government, but seeking more restrictions on the ability of individual women to receive a legal medical procedure. We could also go on for days about this bill from a pro-choice point of view or even from a “should income decide what legal medical treatments you can and cannot receive?” point of view, but we know we might not all agree on those points. The thing is, this time, we don’t need to.
This is about the government officially delineating between “rape” and “rape-rape.”
So, call your member of Congress. Write them. Fax them. Ask them to vote against H.R. 3. Don’t forget to say “thanks” if the staffer says the Representative is planning to vote against the bill. If the staffer says either the Representative will be supporting H.R. 3 or isn’t sure where the Representative stands on it, ask the staffer to send you a list of what qualifies as “forcible rape,” because supporters of H.R. 3 seem to be pretty quiet about the matter. When you’re done contacting your member, maybe send an extra note or call to the following Illinois Congressmen who are cosponsors of H.R. 3:
Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-03)
Rep. Jerry F. Costello (D-12)
Rep. Peter J. Roskam (R-06)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-11)
Rep. Timothy V. Johnson (R-15)
Rep. Donald A. Manzullo (R-16)
Rep. Robert T. Schilling (R-17)
Rep. John Shimkus (R-19)
A Republican led House of Representatives has already begun their anti-woman agenda and will only continue to pursue it. Enough is enough. Stand with us today to take action against this outrageous legislation.
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