A Deeper Look at GOP H.R. 3 Redefining Rape

Yesterday, I wrote about House Resolution 3, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion, from a perspective of the House GOP leadership straw-grasping in a bad effort to go after the President, pick at the Affordable Care Act and attack the Roe Decision (1973), merely for the sake of scoring political points as the GOP continues to campaign instead of govern. There is a difference.

None of these actions effectively address the number one issue for Americans, jobs and the economy. “Just say no” and raising bills for ideological sport does not stop someone’s home from being foreclosed on after that person has lost their job (along with their medical insurance) and can no longer make their mortgage payments.

Today, I decided to see if I missed some reasonable, logical rationale that sponsors of HR3 have for raising it. I also wanted to find out whether there are any women supporters, who the Democrat supporters are and, in light of the recent Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act in Florida, what kind of impact could H.R. 3 potentially have in the judicial branch, namely the prosecution of alleged rapists, should it become law. This is especially important since HR3 proposes to redefine rape in a dangerous way that puts women and children at risk:

The broad anti-abortion measure would restrict federally-assisted abortion coverage to cases of “forcible rape,” excluding in that definition instances where women are drugged and raped, where women say “no” but do not physically fight off the perpetrator, and various cases of date rape. It also excludes instances of statutory rape in which minors are impregnated by adults. The victim in all cases would be denied abortion coverage under Medicaid and forbidden from seeking health care tax benefits. [….]

I got to say it. Is this one of those “she was asking for it” moments? Are these folks out of their blanking minds? Imagine some zealous lawyer adding this bill, should it become law, to his or her defense arsenal in defending an alleged rapist of someone who either tried to say no or was incapable of doing so because she was drugged (by whom?) and did not fight back (or was unable to)? Some might think this is a stretch for a legal argument but it just might aid in tipping the scale in nullifying a jury to find in favor of the defense.

In December 2009, the Center for Public Integrity’s investigation of sexual assault on campuses in the US released their findings in a report, Campus Sexual Assault Statistics Don’t Add Up: Troubling Discrepancies in Clery Act Numbers, that emphasizes the multi-layered obstacles of reporting rape on campuses. Many students go off to college and are away from home for the first time without Mom and Dad around to tell them what to do. Partying often becomes a part of their new life freedom and with it the heightened possibility of date rape by drug inducement, or even just being under the influence of drugs and not being in control of what one is doing, or what someone else is doing to them. Reporting such instances is difficult enough as it is. Now, the GOP proposes to add another even more sinister and ugly wrinkle to a life moment spoiled.

As for excluding minors who are impregnated by adults … In 1998, the Massachusetts Family Institute released a chilling report, When Adults Prey Sexually Upon Children, that states:

HUMAN AND SOCIAL COSTS OF STATUTORY RAPE: It is impossible to calculate fully the damage done to both children and society by the crisis of statutory rape in Massachusetts and around the nation. As outlined in greater detail in this report, the following are some of the devastating human and social consequences of adults preying sexually upon children:

    • Increased Rates of Fatherlessness
    • Increased Rates of Teenage Pregnancy
    • Higher Levels of Welfare Dependency
    • Higher Rates of Child Poverty
    • Sexual Coercion and Abuse of Children

And the sponsors of HR3 want to redefine rape to exclude statutory rape? This is outrageous!

The 173 Sponsors of HR3: There are 9 Democrats (all men) and 164 Republicans (14 women – I guess ideological-culture war gaming is an equal opportunity kind of thing) in support of redefining rape as noted above. The bullet points below show links to the Congressperson, what the impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act would have in their districts, i.e., the people (including women and children) whose interests and well-being they are supposed to represent, as well as what industries donate to their political campaigns:

The 14 Women  Sponsors of HR3 that Redefines Rape as Noted Above:

It is important to note that each of these Congresswomen voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I get that; they are Republicans and this is the Age of No for their party. Even more telling is where they get their political campaign donations from; insurance, health and finance industries are among their top donors. With the exception of Rep. Bachmann who receives political donations directly from abortion policy/pro-life industry, it is hard to comprehend how these women could even remotely support redefining a crime that is aimed directly at women and children. Sexual assault is the most under-reported crime in our nation and redefining rape in the way as noted above does not help.

The 9 Democrat Sponsors of HR3 that Redefines Rape as Noted Above:

The Group of Nine has an interesting story to tell if you are me and you are thinking along the lines of this scenario:

Okay, you voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act which was an empty gesture; especially since the senate won’t even take the bill up. Your donors include industries that would benefit from repeal — or so they think — and you have to find a way to keep them happy and their dollars flowing in your direction. Besides, governing is only a campaign away.

You come from a conservative district making it completely understandable that even though you are a registered Democrat, there are times when it is necessary to play to your party base — or so you think — and keep them fired up and fearful lest they vote for someone else. (The fickle be damned!)

And now that repeal seems to have flat-lined (before the Florida ruling — possibly), the next best thing to do is support pro-life! After all, who can fault you for supporting the defenseless life of an unborn child. “Perfect!” you exclaim as you eagerly become a sponsor of HR3. You rush to stand along side of the other sponsors and take a picture or two to show those on-the-fence independently minded folk back home that you can play bi-partisan too.

That scenario I can readily apply to Congressmen Dan Boren, Mike McIntyre and Mike Ross; they all voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Congressmen Jerry Costello, Joe Donnelly, Daniel Lipinski, Collin Peterson, Nick Rahall and Heath Shuler don’t readily fall into the same scenario. The voted “no” on repeal.

So what happened between the repeal vote and the raising of HR3? Did their donors threaten them? Did Sarah Palin call them and invite them to go hunting with her … in the woods … at night … with no security detail but hers? Or did Michele Bachmann give them a jingle and threaten to destroy their birth certificates and claim they are un-American, illegal aliens who are threatening our democracy with their every breath?

Going back to how I got here … Did I miss some logical, reasonable rationale for raising HR3 and redefining rape as this bill proposes? Oh hell no. There is none.

What can we do? Every woman in this country, every citizen — especially in the districts of these people — need to call the sponsors of HR3 ask them to table this bill indefinitely.

What should HR3 sponsors do besides kill the bill? Each sponsor should go to a rape crisis center where they are ordered to complete 90 hours of community service working with rape victims and hear and experience first-hand the horrific consequences of rape on all levels.



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