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House GOP: Not All Rape Victims Were Really Raped, So They Should Bear Their Rapist’s Child

[ 142 ] January 28, 2011 |

I wouldn’t say that anything House Republicans could do would surprise me at this point, but this is appalling even by contemporary Republican standards. Nick Baumann:

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.)

[...]

“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.

So merely being forced to have sex without your consent isn’t the same as being raped as far as access to health care is concerned? Can we stop hearing about the Deep Moral Principles of anti-abortion fanatics now? And even more so, can we please stop hearing about how criminalizing abortion is really about protecting women? Can anybody deny that opposition to legal abortion is deeply intertwined with sexism and reactionary beliefs about sexuality at this point?

As an added bonus,this proposal would (in the tradition of the odious Stupak Amendment) not only would deny some rape victims direct funding to pay for an abortion, it would prevent them from using money from a Health Savings Account. It’s an outrageous bill, and alas there will be plenty more where this came from for at least the next two years.

Kay Steiger has more.

Comments (142)

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  1. c u n d gulag says:

    The GOP view:
    Those tramps and tarts are asking for it. They’re tempting our manly essence by doing something as provacative and sexy as inhaling.

    If they didn’t want to have sex, they shouldn’t breathe, and if they do, to come dressed in suits of armour like in the Middle Ages, because even burka’s are too tempting for our manly essence.

    And we’re all PRO-LIFE! And if a raped woman, or any woman, has an abortion, the penalty should be DEATH!!!

    • Why the apostrophe? (“burka’s”)

    • Anonymous says:

      Shouldn’t the discision for death be left up to their higher power not your personal view? What if every religions bible said that if you are not with us you should die. Do you realize there would noone left on the earth. Open your eyes and think for yourself. If their is a god, he gave us intelligence for a reason. If your 13 year old daugther was attacked after school and went and had an abortion you would kill her. If you would you are one sick individual and I can’t believe any god would be happy with you. Again think for yourself not blindly believe what someone tells you. Hope you learn about real life.

      Thanks for reading, Said to know there are people like this on the earth.

      • Anonymous says:

        The other “Anonymous” totally failed their sarcasm check.

        “burka’s” works in that specific context, too, further satirizing a GOP perspective that is ignorant of anything that “ain’t American”.

        • nunua says:

          its not up to anynoe really if they were they were and i think its all a cruck of shit in my oppenition but thats me lol and its wrong to bring reliogion in to this mess

  2. Kurzleg says:

    When this subject comes up, I’m always reminded of the lines Elaine May penned for “The Birdcage.” Albert – masquerading as Armand’s wife – says, “Kill the mothers; that’ll stop them. I know, if you kill the mothers then the fetus will die too, but the fetus is going to be aborted anyways, so you might as well let it go down with the ship!” Perfectly captures the absurdity of pro-life logic.

  3. Davis says:

    Allow those slutty women to claim rape to get their hands on federal money? No way! We’re too morally upright to allow that.

  4. Malaclypse says:

    Gee, I do hope that they have shifted the burden of proof so that women need to prove that rape occurred, and that it was forcible enough.

  5. DrDick says:

    Further evidence that they are only “pro-life” from conception. After you are born, and actually “alive” in a meaningful sense, they really do not give a damn.

  6. BigHank53 says:

    Stay tuned for the Supreme Court ruling on honor killings: stoning and shooting both okay; but burning them alive is subject to state regulation as it may present a danger to public safety.

  7. WrongfulDeath says:

    “…they’re saying that some rape victims aren’t really rape victims.

    I don’t think that’s true.

    From the quote above, it appears they wish to make a distinction of different kinds of rape. Ones which they may fund with federal funds and others which they will not.

    Let’s be clear. Even the criminal code differentiates between rapes as we do with many other crimes. Why would anyone be *shocked* that federal funding of these may be differentiated as well?

    Don’t lose sight of what the issue is and it’s all about who pays, not whether the abortion is legal and available. And before anyone decides to argue that lack of funds on the part of the individual constitutes a lack of availability, I would, again, point to the handguns for the poor analogy expressed above.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      From the quote above, it appears they wish to make a distinction of different kinds of rape. Ones which they may fund with federal funds and others which they will not.

      Well, that’s another way of putting it, but it doesn’t make it any less appalling.

      Don’t lose sight of what the issue is and it’s all about who pays, not whether the abortion is legal and available.

      Sure. And, in fact, it doesn’t make sense to deny funding for a medical procedure that would otherwise be granted solely to obstruct the exercise of a fundamental constitutional right. Even without the egregiously sexist rape definitions, the Hyde Amendment is a disgrace.

    • DocAmazing says:

      before anyone decides to argue that lack of funds on the part of the individual constitutes a lack of availability, I would, again, point to the handguns for the poor analogy expressed above

      That’s not the kind of thing you want to brag about, or even draw attention to.

    • Even the criminal code differentiates between rapes as we do with many other crimes. Why would anyone be *shocked* that federal funding of these may be differentiated as well?

      So, funeral benefits should be prorated on whether the death was murder or manslaughter? Auto insurance should pay out differently depending on whether the person who hit you was drunk or texting?

      I’m not surprised at the illogic of the rhetoric, but I’m starting to doubt it’s sincerity.

      • caibre says:

        Here’s an idea: get raped, and then get back to me. I don’t own a gun, so I know how that feels. I’ve also been raped.

        I don’t know about you, but I’m guessing you’ve gone at some point in your life without a gun. So you’ve got that. I’m also willing to guess you haven’t been raped. Until that happens, I kindly suggest you shut your mouth on the issue unless you decide to leave it up to the victims of rape as to whether what happened to them is worth getting an abortion over.

  8. WrongfulDeath says:

    Errrr…not fund rapes, but rather fund abortions.

    (flying fingers make mistakes)

  9. muffler says:

    Republican Right Wing = American Taliban

  10. WrongfulDeath says:

    Well, that’s another way of putting it, but it doesn’t make it any less appalling.

    I would ask Mr. Lemiuex how many of the other acknowledged constitutional rights require that the federal government foot the bill for the exercise of that right?

    If I believe that I don’t have free speech without some radio or TV time, should I expect the federal government foot the bill to buy that time to put me on equal footing with an opposing view?……. To fulfill my constituional rights that are being diminished by my lack of means?

    Should we require funding for the poor people that would otherwise qualify to own a firearm in order to ensure that they are able to exercise their enumerated and recently affirmed consitutional rights?

    Why is this issue different? Is there a heirarchy of consitutional rights that I’m unaware of?

    • Anonymous says:

      I would ask Mr. Lemiuex how many of the other acknowledged constitutional rights require that the federal government foot the bill for the exercise of that right?

      Well, to start with, legal representation in a criminal case. Another example of a right whose exercise requires the participation of a paid professional.

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        I guess I’ll have the post on this again tomorrow, but in fact states are required to provide taxpayer funded education (if they provide it for others), fund religious publications on campus, etc. etc. A situation where there isn’t a positive “right” per se but the government has to provide what it provides to others is utterly banal. Similarly, if the government funds other medical procedures if it’s going to deny funding for abortions it needs a better reason than “we want to obstruct the exercise of a constitutional right.”

  11. Natalie says:

    Think about this for a second… Leave out the emotional side of the ramifications of this ludicrous bill (and I am survivor of rape so that is hard for me to do but I am doing it for the point of this conversation.)

    You don’t allow the funding to pay for the abortion for the women of the horrific acts so they have the babies. Just say they keep the babies… how much welfare is the government going to pay out to support these children? Won’t it cost more to raise these children on welfare than it would to pay for the abortion?

    Now for the emotional side… unless you have been in the shoes of someone who has been raped, how do you know what the mental and emotional impacts of the rape alone much less carrying a baby conceived from the heinous act for 9 months then delivering it would be? And seriously it would take away funding for a special needs woman who was raped to have an abortion? Or a woman who was given a date rape drug??? As others have said… who defines “forcible rape?”

    • DrDick says:

      Asking WD to actually think rather than simply emote and spew the latest Beckian rant is asking rather a lot. Asking him/her to display empathy is like asking the same of a rock.

    • Kaitlin says:

      “Now for the emotional side… unless you have been in the shoes of someone who has been raped, how do you know what the mental and emotional impacts…”

      I am not arguing that it is very tough, in fact I can’t even believe what that must be like. Horrifying. But have you or anybody that has ever been born been in the shoes of the “unwanted” child that is aborted? Clearly, 100% of all humans that are pro-life, pro-choice, and even those without an opinion have not. What gives people the right to dismiss their wishes? I have a feeling that if all pro-choicers were told that they were going to be aborted (of course, with the knowledge and experiences they have now), many would most likely beg for their lives.

      • GeoX says:

        What gives people the right to dismiss their wishes?

        OBJECTION. The witness is begging the question.

      • (the other) Davis says:

        Let’s not forget the wishes of all the children who could have been born, had only their parents chosen not to use birth control. If you were told you were going to be not-conceived as a result of birth control measures, would you beg for your life?

        And why stop there? Every unfertilized ovum was a potential child whose wishes were simply dismissed. None of us has been in the shoes of that never-conceived child — what gives us to right to dismiss his/her wishes? Clearly the only solution is for women to attempt to become pregnant at every opportunity; and we must mourn the tragic loss each time she fails.

      • Dan S. says:

        I have a feeling that if all pro-choicers were told that they were going to be aborted (of course, with the knowledge and experiences they have now),

        Well, that’s sort of the point, ain’t it. The thing and the whole of the thing, so to speak.

        Thinking through the whole time-traveling retroactive abortion thing does add an interesting wrinkle, though. I mean, it’s obvious that one of the forced-birther brigade’s basic commitments is “bitches ain’t shit,” but this sorta clarifies it to “your mother ain’t shit”.

      • DrDick says:

        And what about the more than half of all fertilized embryos which spontaneously abort (miscarry)? What about their wishes?

      • Malaclypse says:

        What gives people the right to dismiss their wishes?

        How does a partly-formed embryo, with no social experience, and no brain to speak of, have “wishes”? Be specific and use examples.

      • Valkyrie607 says:

        It requires a brain, a nervous system, language, and self-awareness before a being can truly be said to have “wishes” that can be expressed and respected. No fetus at any stage of development has ALL of these. A pregnant woman, on the other hand, does. Your concerns are noted and dismissed. As is your willingness to reduce a pregnant woman to a lesser status than a non-sentient embryo.

      • Emily says:

        I can say for one pro-choicer here I would have had no problem with my mother having an abortion. Because I would never know it happened. I just simply wouldn’t exist. Much like I will just simply not exist after I die. As someone who does not exist, I will not have any desires/wishes and will not in any way be conscience of what might otherwise have been.

        Maybe that’s where it gets religious – if you think all these souls go to heaven where they bemoan never having been able to live a corporeal life on earth, well, maybe there’s some sense to the “what if your mother had aborted?” question. But not coming from that kind of a religious belief system, I don’t see how I would possibly know or care if my mother had aborted me.

        • Joe says:

          I read once “Doe” in Doe v. Bolton later was “pro-life” but a daughter was pro-choice, even though if her mother had the right to have an abortion, she could never would have been born.

          I find the often cited “what if you were aborted” line convincing since as you say, if I wasn’t born, how would I know? Would I be a waiting soul wanting to be born? Some might believe that sort of thing, but even then, the soul might realize the “time wasn’t right” or something.

  12. WrongfulDeath says:

    Well, to start with, legal representation in a criminal case.

    While defendents have a right to an attorney, they must pass a means test to have free services. Most are held responsible for the attorneys appointed.

    http://www.tba.org/lawbytes/t1_1001.html

    It’s a desperate crowd that attempts to tie the imaginary ‘right’ of having *free abortions* to the established case law of a defendent’s right to attorney in a criminal case.

    And he has not addressed the massive other rights that are also not a financial free ride at the taxpayers’ expense.

    Maybe he’ll be enraged by those as well when he figures it out.

    • DocAmazing says:

      A woman also has to pass a means test to get a free abortion, too. Just like any taxpayer-subsidized medical care. (Exception: veterans and the elderly; the elderly have very few abortions, and veterans have earned the right to do pretty much whatever they like with their private parts.

      But please don’t let facts get in the way.

    • wiley says:

      Buying a gun is not like being impregnated by a rapist. Being impregnated by a rapist is an element of the rape. If a woman who is eligible for medical care under Medicaid is raped and impregnated by the rapist, an abortion is medical care as much as counseling or stitches and I see no reason for Medicaid not to cover it.

  13. lindab says:

    I would rather the government pay, than have these violent genetics be allowed to continue.

  14. WrongfulDeath says:

    I’m poor and can pass a means test. I qualify in every way to own a firearm, however I can’t afford one.

    I want the federal government to pay for a gun to ensure that I have access to my individual constitutional right.

    Go for that as well?

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      Who, exactly, is being excluded from government-subsidized firearms? This analogy is remarkably lame.

    • DocAmazing says:

      WrongfulDeath, you now have a mission! Government funding for abortion is part of overall funding for medical care, as established by Medicaid and Medicare. Your mission is to lobby Congress to establish a federal program to arm the poor. Given the composition of the current Congress,you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

  15. Vee says:

    Dear WrongfulDeath, I think I may speak for more than just my humble self when I say this but: if the goverment will not help finance a firearm for you I will be more than willing to bear that burden… provided you know the proper direction in which you should be pointing it. I am a taxpayer, who consequently has very little money to spare, but I am not going to begrudge ANY women help with terminating a rape-based pregnancy.
    As for the issue at hand… the government has no right to decide how rapey a rape must be in order to be called such. That is like saying a person must be missing at least 23% of their body mass in order to qualify as a murder victim. You cannot be PARTIALLY murdered; dead is dead. Same goes for rape. Someone either forced you to give up something that should only be given by choice or they did not.

  16. Vee says:

    Now for something a little less civil…
    I know you are probably male, but perhaps someone should ram a large cucumber up your rectum and then force you to carry an ever growing parasite in your abdominal cavity. After about 10 months I am quite sure you’ll wish the government, or anybody for that matter, would please come help remove it.

  17. WrongfulDeath says:

    The sad fact is an imaginary ‘right’ to federally funded *FREE ABORTIONS at taxpayer expense is not a right at all as demonstrated by the gun analogy.

    So stop the caterwalling and whining about a ‘right’, ’cause it simply does not exist no matter how much you wish it did.

    With that behind us, Congress can do pretty much what it wants as demonstrated by the last couple of years.

    Elections *DO* have consequences!

    • DocAmazing says:

      Apparently, erections have consequences.

    • Valkyrie607 says:

      This election, all I heard was, “The Tea Party is all about fiscal responsibility and sane tax policy! We’re not like those crazy social conservatives with their Christian family values.” I guess it was all lies then, eh? Surprise surprise.

      In any case, you’re creating a straw man argument here: nobody’s actually arguing that there’s a constitutional right to taxpayer-funded abortions. What we are saying is that, if the government agrees that health care is a right, and agrees to pay for abortions as part of health care when they have been raped, it is fundamentally sexist, discriminatory and harmful to posit a distinction between “forcible” rape, wherein health care will be provided, and other types of rape, wherein health care will not be provided.

      Can you argue against THAT proposition? Or do you prefer to stick to battling the chimeras in your own mind?

    • Datan0de says:

      I can see the rationale for arguing against taxpayer-funded medical procedures. I disagree with it, but I can see the rationale. The problem here is that they’re trying to declare that a particular procedure is only available for public subsidy under certain circumstances, and the criteria that they’re using isn’t rational, but rather clearly based upon an agenda that is both misogynistic and religious in nature and therefore unsuitable as a means of determining public policy.

  18. WrongfulDeath says:

    The sad fact is an imaginary ‘right’ to federally funded *FREE ABORTIONS at taxpayer expense is not a right at all as demonstrated by the gun analogy.

    So stop the caterwalling and whining about a ‘right’, ’cause it simply does not exist no matter how much you wish it did.

    With that behind us, Congress can do pretty much what it wants as demonstrated by the last couple of years.

    Elections *DO* have consequences!

    • elm says:

      You’re missing the point. Giving you the benefit of the doubt that this is not intentional, let me try to explain:

      1. The government has decided to provide subsidized health care to certain individuals in society.
      2. According to the Supreme Court, getting an abortion in the 1st 2 trimesters is a constitutionally protected right (whether you or anyone else likes this fact or not.)
      3. The Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution means that one class of individuals cannot be denied the benefits provided to others without good reason.
      4. Since the government decided to provide subsidized health care to some people, they cannot deny health care to pregnant women without good reason.
      5. Since an abortion is a protected right under the current interpretation of the Constitution, “some people don’t like abortion” is not a good reason.

      Thus, as long as the government provides subsidized health care to broad classes of individuals that include pregnant women, it must include equivalent subsidization of abortions. If the government were to decide to eliminate all subsidized health care, then your gun analogy might hold weight, an no one here would be complaining about the unconstitutionality of not funding abortions (though we’d be complaining about the fact that the poor and elderly and veterans and government workers were not given subsidized health care.)

      Elections do have consequences, and if one of those eventual consequences is an overturning of Roe v. Wade, or the elimination of Medicaid (and HSAs given that you can’t use them either), then this discussion becomes moot. Until then, the House GOP bill is despicable, all the more so in that it actually does allow subsidization of some abortions, but only if you’ve been “rape raped” to paraphrase Whoopi Goldberg, and not if you’ve only been “raped.”

      • DrDick says:

        Giving WD the benefit of the doubt is always a mistake.

      • Iago Rex says:

        On the whole, well argued. However, there is one significant flaw in your reasoning.

        4. Since the government decided to provide subsidized health care to some people, they cannot deny health care to pregnant women without good reason.
        5. Since an abortion is a protected right under the current interpretation of the Constitution, “some people don’t like abortion” is not a good reason.

        There is no logical connection between 4. and 5. (4 is questionable on its own, but I think the problem lies more in poor construction choice than in flawed reasoning so I will skip over that.) The fact that the government cannot deny health care to pregnant women without good reason does not mean that the government is OBLIGED to provide ALL FORMS OF HEALTHCARE to pregnant women. For example, if a woman choses to have breast enhancement, laser eye surgery, liposuction, or a variety of other procedures, the government is under no obligation to provide funding for these. Given that abortion was declared constitutionally protected as a PRIVACY right and not a HEALTH CARE right (which would be extremely difficult to justify even under either the commerce clause or the substantive due process clause), the government does not interfere with anyone’s constitutional rights by choosing not to fund abortion…or in this case by choosing to fund abortion in some circumstances and not in others.

        • Scott Lemieux says:

          So you think the Supreme Court was wrong to say that if a university funds secular publications it has to fund religious ones? (And that’s a tougher case, because funding religious publications arguably violates the First Amendment.)

          • Iago Rex says:

            I’m not familiar with the case, so I apologize for not being able to fully address it. On its face value, I don’t see why a university should not be able to pick and chose which publications it funds. However, there are two complications which I foresee and I would have to think about more deeply. Problem #1 (related to the Constitutional issue you raised) What is a religious publication? Some are obvious and self stating, but others are not clear. Is a publication dedicated to natural law Christian? Most natural law theorists are Christian, but not all and of course natural law thinking predates Christianity. This issue would be avoided by telling the university it can pick and chose which publications to fund. Problem #2 (the problem with the easy solution to #1): If a university can pick and chose which publications it funds, can it therefore fund some religious publications and not others? This also seems to violate the Constitution.

            Of course, there is one other easy solution: don’t allow universities to fund publications.

        • elm says:

          I would suggest that the “good reason” to deny liposuction coverage is, “not medically necessary.” I would guess that it does cover plastic surgery that is deemed medically necessary, i.e. to repair burns and etc. This does lead to the question of “what is medically necessary?” and, I suppose, could conceivably restrict abortions to only those where the health of the mother is affected by continued pregnancy (though, as many argue, pregnancy is always a health risk), but, even so, I’d like to think everyone could agree that being forced to give birth to your rapist’s child (even if it isn’t “rape rape”) could be detrimental to the woman’s mental health.

          • Scott Lemieux says:

            Right. And Congress isn’t even pretending that the Hyde Amendment is the product of neutral criteria (such as expense or medical necessity.) Its express purpose is to obstruct the exercise of a fundamental right.

            • hv says:

              As Wiley suggests above, abortions might reasonably qualify as treatment for rape, along with counseling, stitches, etc.

              Opponents are not engaging on the medical reasoning, however, when they are trying to parse what rapes they approve of.

  19. DocAmazing says:

    Hey, has anybody seen Kate?

    • Kate says:

      Hey, Doc. How ya doing?

      I’m just lurking on this one, Doc, and likely will continue only to lurk in the future. Contrary to prevailing LGM opinion, I’m not a troll, and I see no point in continuing to discuss this particular issue here — partly because I’m too susceptible to getting drawn into snide exchanges (and I don’t like myself when I do), and partly because I don’t think any amount of good faith engagement in this forum is going to conquer the smug ad hominems or the presumption of bad faith.

      So carry on.

      (I am enjoying reading Iago Rex’s comments, though.)

  20. [...] that there could be any “right” to taxpayer funding.    We’ve just gotten another example. So I guess once again I have to explain that the constitutional problems with the Hyde Amendment [...]

  21. Iago Rex says:

    Ouch. I’m sorry, but that was extremely poorly written, and I’ll attribute the cause to it being a Saturday morning.

    I’ll skip over the extraneous bits and focus on what I think is the heart of your statement: that being forced to give birth to your rapist’s child (even if it isn’t “rape rape”) could be detrimental to the woman’s mental health, and therefore the government should pay for abortion in all of these cases. (If I erred in my summary, please feel free to correct me).

    You yourself raised the “medical necessity” standard, and this is one with which I agree so I will begin there. I shall further focus narrow the focus to “necessary for the woman’s health” for two reasons: 1) because that was your argument, and 2) because if it is physically necessary then it meets the “medical necessity” standard, whether the pregnancy was caused by rape or not.

    The question, then, is this: are there circumstances in which rape creates a medical necessity for abortion to protect the woman’s mental health?

    The first issue to address is this: what is “medical necessity” when talking about mental health in the context of rape? Rape is a horrible, traumatic act of violence. As such, it necessarily causes damage to the woman’s mental health. Separating the effects of the rape on the woman’s mental health from the pregnancy on her mental health requires more speculation than science. However, let’s say that for the sake of argument that we do manage to separate the affects of pregnancy from the effects of the rape. What would the standard be to show medical necessity? Generally with medical necessity we look to severe or permanent damage (and no, having a kid is not, in itself, permanent damage unless one wants to justify infanticide) which can be avoided with a medical treatment.

    To qualify, the damage to the woman’s mental health would need to be severe (such as suicidal, self-abusive, insane, or perhaps even severely depressed). Remember that this needs to be caused by the pregnancy independent of the other effects of the rape. Furthermore, it most be shown that abortion will, in fact, prevent or cure this damage. If the abortion does not, in fact, prevent or cure the damage then the government should not fund it. However, there is a problem: these forms of damage to the woman’s mental health have also been found to result from abortions.

    So to claim that abortion is a medical necessity for a rape victim’s mental health, one must show that the pregnancy causes severe mental harm that would not be caused by the rape without pregnancy, that abortion prevents this harm from happening, and that the effects from the cure will not be as bad or worse than the effects from pregnancy. If these criteria are not met, then abortion in these circumstances become elective rather than necessary and the argument that the government should pay for it is no different than arguing for other elective surgeries.

    • Iago Rex says:

      Hmm…computer difficulty. This should have been posted in response to Elm’s response to my previous comment.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      The problem is that the criterion you’re using — in which nothing receives funding unless there’s a high level of medical necessity — isn’t the one that Congress actually uses. In a world in which Medicaid funds can be used for Viagra, it’s hard to argue that abortions don’t meet the medical necessity criterion.

      • elm says:

        Exactly. This returns us to the point above: if you want to treat abortion differently from other medical procedures, then you have to have a good reason other than “some people don’t like it.”

        I will qualify my statement above, though, in response to Iago Rex’s points: if the government were to continue to subsidize health care, but in all cases only subsidize that care which is immediately necessary to save a patient’s life, then I do not believe that generally excluding abortion from coverage (but including an abortion to save the mother’s life) would violate constitutional principles.

        Let me know when medicaid et al work that way.

        But, Iago, let me ask you this: what is the rationale for subsidizing abortions in cases of “forcible rape” as the GOP is willing to still do, but not in other cases of rape?

      • hv says:

        It doesn’t have to be shown “medically necessary” for the mother’s mental health… that is a bit of an equivocation of what “medically necessary” means. It is a term of art, and it means “non-elective” — in contrast to every single example Iago Rex was able to think of (eg boob jobs… interestingly, some boob jobs are covered, in the cases of severe mastectomies that require reconstructive surgery.)

        However, it is silly to have this debate in blog comments, when the public debate is in a different space altogether… we all know that if progressives had an ironclad study that shows women don’t like 9 months of carrying a reminder of rapes, no one opposing abortions would move their position an inch.

        And none of it is relevant to how ugly this discussion is with respect to rape.

        • Iago Rex says:

          It doesn’t have to be shown “medically necessary” for the mother’s mental health… that is a bit of an equivocation of what “medically necessary” means. It is a term of art, and it means “non-elective” — in contrast to every single example Iago Rex was able to think of (eg boob jobs… interestingly, some boob jobs are covered, in the cases of severe mastectomies that require reconstructive surgery.)

          Um…hv, you seem to understand the issue as well as I would expect from someone who choses to join a discussion while calling it pointless. The question is whether abortion is medically necessary and so should be funded by Federal money. Turning it into a preference issue seems to downplay any arguments towards necessity, which is doing no justice to those who believe that it is necessary.

    • DocAmazing says:

      Interestingly, a new study has been published (from Denmark, I think; I’ll try to find it): vanishingly small risk of psychological disorders resulting from abortion; about twice the rate of psychological disorders (postpartum depression, mostly) resulting from pregnancy brought to term.

    • Joe says:

      “However, there is a problem: these forms of damage to the woman’s mental health have also been found to result from abortions.”

      This came up in Gonzalez v. Carhart and it’s pretty iffy. Scott can probably say more about the specifics. Suffice to say, on balance, even given your criteria, yes, abortion would be necessary to health for rape victims.

      Either way, dealing with the pregnancy will cause a lot of mental trauma. It is an uphill battle to show that giving birth to an unwanted rapist baby over time will result in less trauma. So, it’s not ‘elective.’

      This beyond that the Congress isn’t really doing this balancing to my knowledge. It can be arbitrary but at some point arbitrariness is illegitimate. Just tossing up our hands and saying “well, that’s what the do” therefore doesn’t quite work.

    • ema says:

      So to claim that abortion is a medical necessity for a rape victim’s mental health, one must show that the pregnancy causes severe mental harm that would not be caused by the rape without pregnancy, that abortion prevents this harm from happening, and that the effects from the cure will not be as bad or worse than the effects from pregnancy.

      1) pregnancy causes severe mental harm [?] that would not be caused by the rape without pregnancy — check.

      “[A] woman is at least 30 times more likely to require admission for a psychotic or severe mental illness in the month following delivery than she is in the previous 2 years.”*

      Depression is one of the most common complications of pregnancy (major depression during pregnancy is associated with preeclampsia, preterm birth, and low birth weight). An unwanted pregnancy is an established risk factor.

      2) abortion prevents this harm from happening — check.

      “Among women without a history of psychiatric illness, those who delivered had a significantly higher likelihood of having a psychotic episode than those who had an abortion.”

      Severe distress/psychopathology are rare after abortion, and no causal relationship between abortion and mental health problems has been found by [well-designed] studies (p24).

      3) the effects from the cure will not be as bad or worse than the effects from pregnancy — check.

      Risk (death/yr)**: 1 in 10,000 (pregnancy) vs. 1 in 263,000 ([legal] abortion).

      Any other spurious requirements rape victims need to satisfy before they are deemed worthy?

      *Williams 21ed, p1419

      **Williams 21 ed, p 1518

      • Scott Lemieux says:

        This came up in Gonzalez v. Carhart and it’s pretty iffy.

        Yes, and even the majority conceded that there was no reliable evidence that abortion had negative net health effects on women.

      • Iago Rex says:

        “[A] woman is at least 30 times more likely to require admission for a psychotic or severe mental illness in the month following delivery than she is in the previous 2 years.”*

        Previous two years? Does that mean we’re talking about pregnancy in general and not pregnancy as a result of rape? I’m not sure what your source is for this statement, but it seems rather…insane?

        If there is a study done on this topic performed by a neutral group (Guttmacher Institute’s studies are just as biased as National Right to Life’s), please show me. Better still would be a study done by two groups with opposing agendas. But to start quoting exerts from a textbook that seem to be about something other than the topic at hand is misleading at best and dishonest at worst.

        • hv says:

          Iago Rex, we thought you just wanted to know how the argument works… we didn’t realize you had already made up your mind.

          Clearly, the commenters understand and are trying to meet reasonable standards for proving medical necessity. Yes they don’t have a fucking study that says exactly what you just made up out of your head, so ema may draw from a textbook reference. If you don’t like their studies, feel free to link your own. Feel free to conduct your own.

          • Iago Rex says:

            hv…I don’t question the commenter’s intentions. My method is to question everything and then try to produce a reasonable result. I do not expect studies to necessarily meet the criteria that I laid out, but I do expect a study to be on point if someone says that it does. Is this too much to ask? If someone from National Right to Life started talking about abortion and breast cancer, would you consider deceptive is said person introduced breast cancer statistics that were not about abortion and claimed that they were? All I ask for is honesty.

            For every study that a pro-abortion organization has showing how abortion is not harmful, an anti-abortion has an organization has a study showing how it his harmful. Both cannot be true, therefore I question both. Do I ask too much when I ask for a non-partisan study?

            If there is something wrong in my method, by all means correct me. If there is nothing wrong in it, then perhaps you ought to question why something based on reason would upset you so much.

            • Anonymous says:

              For every study that a pro-abortion organization has showing how abortion is not harmful, an anti-abortion has an organization has a study showing how it his harmful. Both cannot be true, therefore I question both. Do I ask too much when I ask for a non-partisan study?

              Oh, this is fun. Let me try:

              For every study by a pro-global warming organization showing global warming is real and dangerous, an denialist study shows that they’re wrong and everything is fine. Both cannot be true, therefore I question both. Do I ask too much when I ask for a non-partisan study?

              • GeoX says:

                For every study by a pro-geodesy organization showing that the Earth is round, there’s a study by the Flat Earth Society show that it’s flat. Do I ask too much when I ask for a non-partisan study?

              • Not all studies are created equal….

              • Iago Rex says:

                No, if policy based on global warming affects you then asking for a study in which groups are not paid to produce a certain result is reasonable. Or to ask that groups who are both paid to produce opposite results work together and let the facts speak for themselves. Otherwise you will always believe the study that confirms your own bias and you will be stuck forever in your beliefs…even if you are lucky enough to have guessed right.

              • asking for a study in which groups are not paid to produce a certain result is reasonable.

                But the vast majority of global warming studies, both past evidence and weather model studies, falls into this category. The prevailing denialist theory – that research showing your errors must by definition be tainted by either money or influenced by ‘prevailing views’ – is an epistemological dodge with no real basis in fact.

            • DrDick says:

              This completely misstates the situation. This is neither a “pro-abortion” or “anti-abortion” study, but research on a well known medical condition, postpartum depression, which has been recognized for decades. Women commonly experience at least mild depression following the birth of a child. In most cases, this is relatively mild and passes naturally in a few months. In some cases, however, the depression is more severe and/or more persistent. This study simply documents the incidence of the more severe forms.

            • Hogan says:

              If there is something wrong in my method, by all means correct me.

              You’re pretty much saying that you can’t read Guttmacher studies and evaluate them as science, so you substitute a presumption of bias for actual evaluation. Why is that a problem for scientists to solve, rather than a problem with your education?

        • ema says:

          Previous two years? Does that mean we’re talking about pregnancy in general and not pregnancy as a result of rape? I’m not sure what your source is for this statement, but it seems rather…insane?

          First, it means you don’t understand what you’re asking for. (pregnancy causes severe mental harm [?] that would not be caused by the rape without pregnancy)

          Second, see that little * at the end of the quote and the corresponding page in Williams at the end of the comment? Ta-da, the source!

          Third, it is imperative that you contact ACOG immediately and inform them of your gut feeling on the quality of Williams’ material in order to allow them to revamp the practice of Ob/Gyn.

          If there is a study done on this topic performed by a neutral group (Guttmacher Institute’s studies are just as biased as National Right to Life’s), please show me.

          The millisecond you show me that 1) the abortion is a medical necessity for a rape victim’s mental health requirements you conjured up are valid, and 2) GI’s studies are just as biased as NRL’s, I’m on it.

          Better still would be a study done by two groups with opposing agendas.

          Not that I’m not amused by you piling on the requirements for rape victims worthiness but, alas, my amusement is not sufficient. Support your assertion that a study done by two groups with opposing agendas would be better than the current literature.

          But to start quoting exerts from a textbook that seem to be about something other than the topic at hand is misleading at best and dishonest at worst.

          I stand chastened and rebuked. Clearly quoting Williams Obstetrics in a discussion on pregnancy was nothing but a [brilliant] ploy on my part.

          What can I say, I’m devious that way.

          • Iago Rex says:

            My tone was overly harsh and judgmental, and I apologize for that. I was in a foul mood earlier today and let it slip into my postings. That is an explanation, but not an excuse and again, I apologize.

            As far as the quotes from Williams Obstetrics, I was not aware that Williams was an Obstetrics book, therefore a citation to Williams meant nothing to me. Now I know, so thank you for informing me.

            As far as my standard for medical necessity, I freely admit that I derived that purely by thinking about the issue, and have repeatedly asked that any flaws in my reasoning be pointed out to me. If you think they are invalid, please explain why. If you can’t think of a reason why but you fell in your gut that they are invalid, say so. But asking me to prove they are invalid…what would you consider to be proof?

            Support your assertion that a study done by two groups with opposing agendas would be better than the current literature.
            Um…ok, this one puzzles me. Is there a scientific discipline out there in which an unbiased agenda is not considered better than a biased agenda? It is a common method to have two groups with opposing agendas examine an issue together to make sure biases are avoided. It’s called having a devil’s advocate.

            • hv says:

              Do I have to google everything for you? “Williams 21ed” clearly leads to other footnotes that get you to the right place.

              Did looking-stuff-up kill your dog or something? I don’t understand why you continue to act like it is the duty of others to remedy your ignorance, when it is at your fingertips.

            • Bijan Parsia says:

              As far as my standard for medical necessity, I freely admit that I derived that purely by thinking about the issue, and have repeatedly asked that any flaws in my reasoning be pointed out to me.

              I’m making the extremely unwarranted assumption that you are 1) acting in some sort of good faith and 2) amenable to normal correction.

              The first flaw in your reasoning is presuming that your uninformed speculation is a reasonable starting point and that asking for people to point out “flaws in your reasoning” is an effective epistemic tactic (that is, if you want to learn something; if you want to troll or preserve your uninformed position and arguments, it’s usually pretty good).

              The fact that you failed to do even minor due diligence in response to multiple posts by hv wherein they provide you with evidence that you dismiss sight unseen (afaict), including facts taken from a textbook as “insane” indicates that your epistemic strategy isn’t working to promote your increased understanding, rather than merely protect your current position. BTW, many interlocutors find such behavior extremely annoying. In any case, it indicates that you aren’t worth engaging.

              The usual way to evaluate a study is to look at the study design, the analysis, the references, etc. not, expect in fairly specific cases, at the source of the study per se. In cases where there is good reason to believe that falsification is a high risk, it’s worth approaching things more carefully.

              So, for example, consider table 1.2 of the Guttmacher Institute report (showing that liberal abortion legal regimes are correlated with lower rates of abortion). Do you doubt the facts reported because they appeared in a document from a “biased” source? (If so, why not, y’know *check* them?)

              About the point in issue, here’s the quote from the review:

              One study that has come
              close to the ideal research design is a long-term prospective cohort study sponsored by the Royal Colleges of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and of General Practitioners in the United Kingdom. This study followed more than 13,000 women in England and Wales over an 11-year period and compared two groups of women facing an unintended pregnancy: those whose pregnancy was terminated and those who delivered a baby. When the women’s history of psychiatric illness was taken into account, the two groups did not differ in the rate at which psychiatric treatment was required in the years following the pregnancy outcome. If anything, the women who delivered appeared to be at higher risk: Among women without a history of psychiatric illness, those who delivered had a significantly higher likelihood of having a psychotic
              episode than those who had an abortion

              So the study in question was from an unbiased source. (In that section of the report, they discuss studies that have found increased morbidity for women who’ve aborted, but argue (persuasively) that the studies are flawed.

              BTW, playing devil’s advocate is also very well done by a single person for their own view. You should always strive to be a harsh critic of your own views, rather than demanding it of random other people.

            • ema says:

              My tone was overly harsh and judgmental, and I apologize for that.

              No problem.

              As far as the quotes from Williams Obstetrics, I was not aware that Williams was an Obstetrics book, therefore a citation to Williams meant nothing to me.

              You’re unfamiliar with Williams, you derive the insane and off topic pronouncements by thinking about it, and then post them in all their glory. Spot the problem?

              As far as my standard for medical necessity, I freely admit that I derived that purely by thinking about the issue, and have repeatedly asked that any flaws in my reasoning be pointed out to me. If you think they are invalid, please explain why.

              Heh, nice try. You presented the criteria, you get to explain why they are valid.

              And here’s a hint about the flaws in your reasoning: unsupported assertions. For example:

              Generally with medical necessity we look to severe or permanent damage … which can be avoided with a medical treatment.

              #1: with medical necessity we look to severe or permanent damage

              You treat impotence because the man fails to achieve/maintain an erection, not because he is suicidal, self-abusive, insane, or perhaps even severely depressed.

              To qualify [for medical treatment], the damage to the woman’s mental health would need to be severe (such as suicidal, self-abusive, insane, or perhaps even severely depressed).

              #2: to qualify for treatment the damage needs to be severe

              When you go to your doctor’s with a complaint of frequent urination he doesn’t send you home and ask you to wait and present to the ER once you’re having febrile seizures and your kidneys have shut down.

              This is important for you to know, for future reference: Waiting until a condition becomes critical in order to intervene is, in fact, malpractice.

              Remember that this [damage] needs to be caused by the pregnancy independent of the other effects of the rape.

              #3: I say the damage needs to be caused by X independent of Y

              Etiology doesn’t work by decree.

              Um…ok, this one puzzles me. Is there a scientific discipline out there in which an unbiased agenda is not considered better than a biased agenda? It is a common method to have two groups with opposing agendas examine an issue together to make sure biases are avoided. It’s called having a devil’s advocate.

              Your pondering of standards of medical necessity would be greatly helped if you acquainted yourself with the basics of the scientific method, and the difference between medical studies methodology and your persona beliefs on the matter.

            • jeremy says:

              Support your assertion that a study done by two groups with opposing agendas would be better than the current literature.
              Um…ok, this one puzzles me. Is there a scientific discipline out there in which an unbiased agenda is not considered better than a biased agenda?

              That you can’t tell the difference between actual scientific inquiry and a negotiation position between two agendas speaks volumes.

              One is trying to produce a better glimpse at the truth. The other is trying to produce the best compromise they can get.

    • Valkyrie607 says:

      these forms of damage to the woman’s mental health have also been found to result from abortions.

      Lies.

      Provide citations or be dismissed as another lying anti-choicer.

      The fact is that abortion is 10x less medically risky than pregnancy–I’m talking basic risks to a woman’s physicality here.

      And the fact is that while post-partum depression is a real thing, and giving a child up for adoption has been shown to have a long-lasting negative effect on a woman’s mental health, there is no reliable scientific evidence showing the same for women who get abortions.

  22. Iago Rex says:

    The problem is that the criteria you’re using — in which nothing receives funding unless there’s a high level of medical necessity — isn’t the one that Congress actually uses. In a world in which Medicaid funds can be used for Viagra, it’s hard to argue that abortions don’t meet the medical necessity criterion.

    I explained the basis for medical necessity because that was the argument to which I was answering. I concede that it is not the standard that Congress actually uses. Congress uses its power often in arbitrary ways. However, to accuse them of arbitrarily excluding abortion and then ask that they arbitrarily include abortion seems to me a bit inconsistent. Another non-arbitrary standard might exist which would cover abortion, but I have not as of yet heard of such a standard.

    What is the rationale for subsidizing abortions in cases of “forcible rape” as the GOP is willing to still do, but not in other cases of rape?

    I wasn’t consulted on this issue and I am not part of the GOP. I think subsidizing abortions in cases of “forcible rape” as arbitrary as subsidizing any other not-medically-necessary abortions.

    • elm says:

      The standard for “medical necessity” is quite a bit lower than you think it is.

    • Joe says:

      It is particularly arbitrary to define “forcible” to not cover what the term in a common sense way means. The exemption for rape is reasonable in that it is a commonly accepted one as compared to let’s say hair color. It is not “as” arbitrary as anything under the sun. And, once it is in place, there are various shades of arbitrariness in defining its terms.

      • Iago Rex says:

        Joe, I agree with you that “forcible” is arbitrary. However, to say that an exemption for rape is reasonable because it is commonly accepted is fallacious. There are many things that are commonly accepted which are arbitrary. Saying that it is “not as arbitrary” as it could be means that it is still arbitrary. Unless one wishes to leave reason behind when discussing the law, arbitrariness must be considered bad since something that is arbitrary is, by definition, not based on reason.

        • Joe says:

          Sheesh. The overall point is that it is not “as” arbitrary as any other regulation which was what I was disputing. This includes a logical use of the word “forcible,” if that is going to be the rule. If you have a rule, using it willy-nilly is not ‘as’ arbitrary as a more logical alternative.

          Determining arbitrariness includes use of a policy that is generally accepted moral line drawing. This is a reasonable (based on reason) way to draw lines when setting fiscal policy. OTOH, only funding abortions based on hair color would be less reasonable, more arbitrary.

          I’m not saying it is totally reasonable or anything.

    • Valkyrie607 says:

      The excluding of abortion from medical coverage is an arbitrary, non-medical decision in the first place. There are no MEDICAL reasons to exclude abortion coverage from basic health care.

      Allowing coverage for women who’ve been raped just reveals the arbitrary nature of the original exclusion. Most anti-choicers would say that abortion should not be allowed because it “kills babies,” right? And yet a great many of them are okay with killing babies when the baby’s daddy is a rapist.

      So it’s really not about the babies, it’s about the women, the kind of sex they have, and the (most often religiously motivated) moral disapproval of their behavior, and the desire to punish that “immoral” behavior–with a baby. Again, the hypocrisy is revealed: how can it possibly be pro-child to regard a child as a punishment for immoral women to endure and learn their lesson from?

      If you’re arguing from strict medical necessity, then abortion should be freely available, with no restrictions, and covered by ALL health care plans, in the first two trimesters. Anything else is most likely religiously based moralizing.

  23. Iago Rex says:

    Joe, I agree with you that “forcible” is arbitrary. However, to say that an exemption for rape is reasonable because it is commonly accepted is fallacious. There are many things that are commonly accepted which are arbitrary. Saying that it is “not as arbitrary” as it could be means that it is still arbitrary. Unless one wishes to leave reason behind when discussing the law, arbitrariness must be considered bad since something that is arbitrary is, by definition, not based on reason.

  24. E. Rat says:

    I do hope that this kind of legislation will put an end to the media spin that the “new” GOP is not primarily interested in culture wars, but in all things economic.

  25. WrongfulDeath says:

    If your argument is about treating different classes differently, I’d really like to see how you handle the government’s race-preference in hiring policies, promotions, etc.

    The standard of non-discrimination you set is high so you can include these abortions, and yet there are classes clearly being discriminated against using this same high standard. And race is just one of many that I can think of.

  26. WrongfulDeath says:

    Errr…the different classes of discussion are, and have been, the distinctions between rape victims ( but I think you knew that).

  27. Malaclypse says:

    Taking the pledge not to feed the troll.

  28. WrongfulDeath says:

    Again, with the high anti-discrimination standards you set to justify funding all groups with free abortions, how do you then justify race preference hiring, race based promotions, etc.?

    Do you just ‘dream’ this inconvenient issue away?

  29. WrongfulDeath says:

    And (again) no real answer to favoring certain races over others.

    No one really expected an answer. There is none. It’s a contradiction to this whole thead of promoting non-discrimination of groups.

    It’s a stump in your eye

    • The answer has already been given — 1)some racial classifications can survive strict scrutiny because 2)it’s silly to pretend that racial classifications intended to promote diversity and take account of historical and institutional discrimination are the same as racial classifications intended to uphold a racial caste system. The real contradictions are found in the conservatives on the Supreme Court, who talk about “color-blindness” but have no problem with, say, the systematic exclusion of racial minorities from juries.

    • hv says:

      I think you don’t know what strict scrutiny is if you don’t understand why it is a complete answer to your question. Try a little google, we’re begging you.

      Despite your righteous outrage, all the racial preferences you are complaining about have passed strict scrutiny.

      This is the danger of getting talking points from conservative media. They have embarrassing holes in them. Ooops.

  30. Malaclypse says:

    No one really expected an answer.

    Sort of like when we ask you for a response. The difference being that you, well, asked a question and got an answer. Answers you don’t like are still answers. As I keep telling my 4-year-old: “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”

  31. [...] Scott Lemieux at the blog, Lawyers, Guns and Money, is shocked by the Republican attempt to redefine rape in order to avoid paying for abortions. He writes: So merely being forced to have sex without your consent isn’t the same as being raped as far as access to health care is concerned? Can we stop hearing about the Deep Moral Principles of anti-abortion fanatics now? And even more so, can we please stop hearing about how criminalizing abortion is really about protecting women? Can anybody deny that opposition to legal abortion is deeply intertwined with sexism and reactionary beliefs about sexuality at this point? As an added bonus,this proposal would (in the tradition of the odious Stupak Amendment) not only would deny some rape victims direct funding to pay for an abortion, it would prevent them from using money from a Health Savings Account. It’s an outrageous bill, and alas there will be plenty more where this came from for at least the next two years. [...]

  32. Anonymous says:

    Please refrain from the term “pro-life” the correct term is pro-birth.

  33. [...] about that whole ‘rape, incest, and the life of the mother’ thing. Amanda Marcotte and Scott Lemieux offer more criticism of why this is awful policy. Marcotte, in particular, explains how this will [...]

  34. DocAmazing says:

    WrongfulDeath, when someone comes around to your place and steals your gun, we’ll be sure to ask the prosecutor to see to it that you’re made whole–that your insurer and/or the thief have to replace or reimburse you for your stolen property.

    Now would you please try to stick to the subject at hand, instead of some flight of fancy about your favorite firearm?

  35. Scott Lemieux says:

    You’re missing the point here. The GOP is not saying that funding should be denied to all rape victims, so your analogy is moot. Rather, they’re saying that some rape victims aren’t really rape victims, which is just straightforward sexism.

  36. PurpleGirl says:

    What they are saying, and let’s be clear about this, you haven’t been raped unless the rapist, broke your teeth, beat you up, left you bleeding from the assault with internal injuries, etc. Anything less than that and it was consensual.

  37. dave3544 says:

    Wait a minute, I love abortion, but hate guns. What ever shall I do?!

    WD, you’ve convinced me. Abortion is murder, guns are good, and I will vote GOP forever!

    Will you go away now?

  38. anonymous says:

    There’s no place in this post where Scott argues that there is a constitutional right to having the government pay for abortions. This is a common trick right-wingers often play to obscure the point which is, does this policy position make you a fucking asshole?
    In this case, it’s clearly yes.

  39. caibre says:

    I’m sorry, but that is ridiculous. Having a child means much more than not having a gun. Are you crazy, even trying to compare the two?

    Have a kid because you got raped:
    - drop out of school
    - pay for child’s clothing, food, shelter, healthcare, education
    - incur more stress
    - pay for medical costs associated with pregnancy
    - BE pregnant
    - resent your child while pregnant, possibly after birth
    - deal with mental repercussions of resenting your child

    Not own a gun:
    - maybe not have a gun in the house if you got robbed. maybe.

  40. DrDick says:

    It foes beyond simple sexism to full blown asshattery.

  41. Malaclypse says:

    Rather, they’re saying that some rape victims aren’t really rape victims, which is just straightforward sexism.

    Maybe it is sexism, maybe it is “the types of crimes we are likely to commit are not really crimes.” Maybe a little of both.

  42. ralphdibny says:

    Yet more proof that what keeps conservatives up late at night is the thought that someone, somewhere, just might be getting money that she doesn’t “deserve.”

    It’s quite creative, when you think about it. They make up a story in their head about all those young women who falsely claim rape just so the gubmit will pay for their abortions (you know, just like all those welfare queens, job-stealing affirmative actioneers, and vote-stealing minorities they fantasize about). Then they pass legislations to stop their chimerical creations. Their soap operas are so convincing that no amount of facts can sway them from their beliefs. The real stories of real women are nothing compared to their impassioned fan fiction.

  43. DrDick says:

    “It goes”. Some days I need an editor more than others.

  44. Ed says:

    That was more or less the law only a few decades ago.

    I thought the GOP might be smarter this time around and not try to do too much batshit stuff that would frighten people away, but looks like they aren’t.

  45. Anonymous says:

    All I can say to that is Palen and O’Donnell. They are two great representatives of the GOP. lol

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