House GOP Unanimously Passes Anti-Abortion Bill That Creates Rape Audits

Woman Made

How despicable. GOP is showing its true colors: creation of Big Government Programs to audit everyone’s personal lives more important than any other problem facing the nation. Businesses, meh, the GOP trusts you’ll do the right thing. Unless of course the business is female owned. Boggles my mind that any rational person would vote for these assholes.

In a 251 to 175 vote this evening, 16 anti-choice Democrats joined every House Republican present in passing H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act. A chief weapon in the House GOP’s “comprehensive assault” on women this bill proposes some of the most radical and draconian restrictions on women’s rights. They include:

– Redefinition Of Rape: The bill sponsor Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) faced serious backlash after he tried to narrow the definition rape to “forcible rape.” By narrowing the rape and incest exception in the Hyde Amendment, Smith sought to prevent the following situations from consideration: 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.

Smith promised to remove the language and while it is not technically in the bill, Mother Jones reports that House Republicans used “a sly legislative maneuver” to insert a “backdoor reintroduction” of redefinition language. Essentially, if the bill is challenged in court, judges will look at the congressional committee report to determine intent. The committee report for H.R. 3 says the bill will “not allow the Federal Government to subsidize abortions in cases of statutory rape” — thus excluding statutory rape-related abortions from Medicaid coverage.

– Tax Increase On Women And Small Businesses: H.R. 3 prevents women from using “itemized medical deductions, certain tax-advantaged health care accounts or tax credits included in last year’s health care law to pay for abortions or for health insurance plans that cover abortion.” In doing so, the bill forces women and small businesses that provide health insurance that covers abortion to pay more in taxes than they would otherwise. Both economic conservative Grover Norquist and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce noted that the bill is basically a tax increase.

Rape Audits: Because H.R. 3 bans using tax credits or deductions to pay for abortions or insurance, a woman who used such a benefit would have to prove, if audited, that her abortion “fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortions.” Essentially, the bill turns Internal Revenue Service agents into “abortion cops” who would force women to give “contemporaneous written documentation” that it was “incest, or rape, or [her] life was in danger” that compelled an abortion.

(click here to continue reading ThinkProgress » House GOP Unanimously Passes Anti-Abortion Bill That Redefines Rape, Raises Taxes, And Creates Rape Audits.)

President Obama better get out his veto pen.

The Rethuglian Plan to Redefine Rape

Vote Reagan - Division Blue Line 1995

The Rethuglican plan is do redefine rape so that it can’t be used as a valid reason to terminate a pregnancy. Assholes.

Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law.

For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.) But the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress, contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases.

With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), 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. (Smith’s spokesman did not respond to a call and an email requesting comment.)

(click to continue reading The House GOP’s Plan to Redefine Rape | Mother Jones.)

Family Planning protest w 50 foot Giant Virgin Mary

The women-hating Rethuglicans have no shame. Or perhaps they really just want to outlaw abortion, and are using this as a back-door solution.

“This bill takes us back to a time when just saying ‘no’ wasn’t enough to qualify as rape,” says Steph Sterling, a lawyer and senior adviser to the National Women’s Law Center. Laurie Levenson, a former assistant US attorney and expert on criminal law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, notes that the new bill’s authors are “using language that’s not particularly clear, and some people are going to lose protection.” 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. “There are a lot of aspects of rape that are not included,” Levenson says.

As for the incest exception, the bill would only allow federally funded abortions if the woman is under 18.

The bill hasn’t been carefully constructed, Levenson notes. The term “forcible rape” is not defined in the federal criminal code, and the bill’s authors don’t offer their own definition. In some states, there is no legal definition of “forcible rape,” making it unclear whether any abortions would be covered by the rape exemption in those jurisdictions.

Hospital Loses Catholic Affiliation

Sin will find you out

Sad, doctrinaire rulings judged to be more important than human life to the Church; the mother’s health weighed as less important than her fetus. At least St. Joseph’s Hospital had the strength of its convictions

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix announced on Tuesday that St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center could no longer identify itself as Roman Catholic because it violated church teachings by ending a woman’s pregnancy in 2009. Hospital administrators said the procedure was necessary to save her life, and stood by their decision even after Bishop Olmsted excommunicated a nun on the hospital ethics committee. The hospital, which receives no money from the Phoenix diocese, can no longer hold Masses.

(click to continue reading Arizona – Hospital Loses Catholic Affiliation – NYTimes.com.)

Stupak and the Executive Order

From my reading of the Executive Order (here’s an advance copy of it), doesn’t seem to restrict a woman’s rights any more than they were restricted yesterday1, with the so-called Hyde Amendment. Congressman Stupak either needed political cover to vote for HCR, or hadn’t bothered to read the bill carefully in the first place.

Family Planning protest w 50 foot Giant Virgin Mary

Pro-choice lawmakers greeted with reluctant acceptance news that President Obama (as part of a deal to secure anti-abortion votes for health care) had agreed to sign an executive order upholding the Hyde Amendment as law. Non-government groups who work on defending abortion rights, however, were “incensed.”

Approached in the halls of the Capitol shortly after the deal was announced by pro-life advocate Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Rep. Jan Schakowski (D-Ill.) said she understood why the executive order had to be made, even though she was not pleased with its message or content.

“This is not something we are rejoicing over in any way because we were reluctant in the first place,” the Illinois Democrat, an abortion rights advocate, told the Huffington Post. “We had language that made sure there were no federal dollars. But right now if this will make the bill pass and it doesn’t further erode women’s reproductive rights we can live with that.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) another abortion rights advocate said: “I have never been a supporter of the Hyde language and I’m not a supporter of the Nelson amendment. From the outset of this debate there were pro choice and pro life Members who believed that abortion should not be litigated on the health care bill. And the goal when the issue was being raised was, ok, what we do is than to maintain current law. And I believe that is what the executive

[Click to continue reading Health Care: Pro-Choice Reps Reluctantly Accept Abortion Deal]

Amanda Marcotte adds on the same topic:

My annoyance at Obama being forced to make some kind of formal declaration of women’s second class citizenship to mollify Bart Stupak and his woman-hating crew is moderated significantly by two major factors:

1) That this is some impressive political jujitsu. Having the President reaffirm what was already the law of the land in order to secure a vote from Bart Stupak, who has clearly never read the bill he’s so fucking concerned about. Did they come up with this brilliant plan after Stupak has made it clear that his contempt for women’s opinions applies even to nuns? Is it possible that Nancy Pelosi called up Obama and said, “Look, I’ve been telling him and Sebelius has been telling him there’s no federal funding for abortion in this bill. He apparently needs to hear it from a man, so can you give us a hand?”

2) That this worked on Stupak means he’s as stupid as he seems. My sense that he’s a useful idiot being played by his Republican friends in the C Street Family has only strengthened. He clearly feels he doesn’t need to know shit about what he’s talking about to take a grand stand on it. Realizing he’s just a stupid tool may not matter that much in the grand scheme of things, but it gave me clarity, which I appreciate.

[Click to continue reading pandagon.net – we are the public option]

Sounds plausible to me

Footnotes:
  1. or last week, or last month []

Family Planning protest w 50 foot Giant Virgin Mary

I only had a 70 mm zoom lens when I shot this, so this is a little hard to see, but it looks like a giant Virgin Mary statue is being set up to glare across the street at the family planning clinic on 659 W Washington. By the looks of the police barricades, I’d say a bevy of protesters is going to greet any woman unlucky enough to have an appointment today. I’d go over and get a closer shot, but I’d probably get into a fist fight with the fundies. Birth control is apparently their next target, btw.
decluttr

As ChicagoSage suggested in comments, we should build a 30 foot Flying Spaghetti Monster with noodley appendages next to this statue.

Reading Around on January 26th through January 27th

A few interesting links collected January 26th through January 27th:

  • Stop CBS From Airing Anti-Abortion Super Bowl Ad « Majority Speaks – Even as the trial continues for the murder of Dr. George Tiller, CBS is planning to air an anti-abortion ad during the Super Bowl game.

    Tell CBS that this is no time to feed the anger and hatred of anti-abortion extremists.

    CBS has a stated policy to reject all ads it deems controversial, including ads from MoveOn.org, PETA, and even the United Church of Christ, which dared to suggest that their church would model tolerance (“Jesus Didn’t Turn People Away. Neither Do We”).

    In fact, CBS execs told the United Church of Christ that CBS rejects any ad that “touches on and/or takes a position on one side of a current issue

  • Can Apple’s iPad Save the Media After All? | Epicenter | Wired.com – early reports indicate that device’s display is crisp, with rich colors. If that’s the case, it will make any well-designed, high-quality publication look good. In addition, magazine publishers can take advantage of the device’s ability to play video by embedding it into articles, and can update their publications with the latest news in real time…

    Condé Nast is preparing a number of iPad ezine subscriptions, including GQ, Wired and Vanity Fair, sources tell wired.com. In an interview before the iPad announcement one senior executive said that while the company it was still very enthusiastic about the iPhone platform — whose downloads already count towards ad-rate-setting circulation guarantees — but was poised to take full advantage of the iPad and was “eager to see what kind of additional functionality they have they baked in.”

    Read More http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/01/can-apples-ipad-save-the-media-after-all#ixzz0dr25Jr9C

  • 1.2 Million Pounds Of Cured Meat Recalled For Salmonella – The Consumerist – "1.2 million pounds of Daniele International salami, sausage, and other cured meat products have been yanked out of stores and recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. The meats are linked to 184 sick individuals in 38 states. At least 35 people have been hospitalized, but none have died."

    Pippy is (internet) famous, again!

Reading Around on June 3rd through June 6th

A few interesting links collected June 3rd through June 6th:

  • Paying For Coffee by digby This post… – Those coffees and the Lincoln Bedroom were among the stupidest of the Clinton scandals — The DOJ said that the two events were unrelated, but that’s very hard to believe. If you were around during that time, we were in the grip of an hysteria not sen since the Salem Witch Trials. As far as the Village was concerned those coffees were worse than Watergate. I don’t believe for a minute that that the withdrawal of Tiller’s protective service was related. The prevailing narrative was that anyone who contributed to Clinton and attended those coffees had no legitimate claim to government services. It was automatically corrupt.

    You can’t blame Tiller’s assassination on this, of course. It was over ten years ago. But it underscores the fact that the culture wars are inherently political and that you can’t separate the conservative movement from the fringe. It’s a seamless system.

  • MenuPages Blog :: Chicago: Kevin Pang And The Infinite List Of Dick Jokes – [Pictured: Not the penis pho at Tank Noodle; rather #47; swanksalot / Flickr]
  • Pho - Number 47 and Rice Number 125

  • Thomas lawyer: court must ban all MediaSentry evidence – Ars Technica – “MediaSentry found Jammie by (1) using KaZaA to request a file transfer from Jammie’s computer to a MediaSentry computer; (2) using a separate program or programs to intercept the Internet packets being sent from Jammie’s computer to the MediaSentry computer as a result of this request; (3) reading the IP address of Jammie’s computer from these packets; and (4) tracing this IP address back to Jammie. This kind of investigation of network traffic is lawful only after certain procedures are followed: when there is prior approval by a court and when the person conducting the investigation is properly licensed. When these procedures are not followed, such investigation constitutes criminal wiretapping and the illegal collection of evidence by an unlicensed private investigator.”