After Being Busted, GOP Drops ‘Forcible Rape’ Language from Anti-Choice Bill
House Republicans were caught red-handed last week in a misogynistic plan to quietly redefine what qualifies as rape, in order to deny women federal funds for abortions.
Now that they’ve been exposed for the heartless bastards they are, they’re backing down.
House Republicans plan to sidestep a charged debate over the distinction between “forcible rape” and “rape” by altering the language of a bill banning taxpayer subsidies for abortions.
The provision in question, written as an exemption from the ban for women who become pregnant as a result of “forcible rape,” touched off a firestorm of criticism from women’s groups, and it gained enough attention to become the subject of a satirical segment on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
But a spokesman for the bill’s author, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), says the modifier “forcible” will be dropped so that the exemption covers all forms of rape, as well as cases of incest and the endangerment of the life of the mother.
“The word forcible will be replaced with the original language from the Hyde Amendment,” Smith spokesman Jeff Sagnip told POLITICO, referring to the long-standing ban on direct use of taxpayer dollars for abortion services.
This is a tactical retreat, not a principled one. You can fully expect Republicans to continue trying to float this kind of anti-choice legislation, because the social conservative wing has decided it’s time for the big push to bring America back to the 19th century.