After a meaningless attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans set their sites on something else: passing a law which makes sure that no federal money goes to funding abortions. It was cleverly called the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act."
Why do this? After all, existing law already restricts public funds for abortions. Weren't they voting on something that already exists in laws?
Nope. You see, 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 those exceptions.
Specifically, the bill attempted to limit rape to "forcible rape" only. That's the only way you can get some financial assistance from the government for an abortion — if you were forcibly raped.
And the incest exception? The Republicans would have that apply only if the "woman" is under 18.
So, let's recap….
The woman who got pregnant after she was slipped a roofie in her Diet Coke would not have her abortion covered.
The woman with a medical condition who fell unconscious in a bad neighborhood and was raped, she would not be covered.
The 17 year old girl who drank too much at a party her parents didn't know about, and was raped while passed out, would not be covered.
The 12 year old raped by her stepfather, or by her sister's boyfriend in her room, or by her tennis coach at practice, would not be covered.
The developmentally disabled girl gang raped and impregnated by boys who told her it was a "game" would not be covered.
The comatose patient in a hospital raped by staff would not have her abortion covered.
Because, apparently, these aren't "real" rape.
Ladies and gents, your new Congress.
Tea party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has unveiled a plan for cutting $400 billion in federal spending that includes freezing Veterans Affairs Department health care spending and cutting veterans’ disability benefits.
Her proposed VA budget cuts would account for $4.5 billion of the savings included in the plan, posted on her official House of Representatives website.
So rape victims and vets – the GOP just gave you a middle finger. [UPDATE: Vets are pissed.]
Balloon Juice quips:
I’m waiting for the “Kick an Orphan and Beat a Puppy Act of 2011,” which no doubt is in the works.