Rape Redefined and Brought to You by Members of the US House of Representatives

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives is moving to make changes in abortion law. The new No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H. R. 5939) has 173 co-sponsors—most of them Republicans. According to The House GOP’s Plan to Redefine Rape, an article in Mother Jones that was written by Nick Baumann, John Boehner (R-OH) considers the bill a top priority for the new Congress. The bill, reportedly, includes a provision that rewrites the definition of rape.

Federal laws that have restricted the use of government funds for abortions have contained exemptions for pregnancies that resulted from rape and incest and for pregnancies that could endanger the lives of women. Evidently, the new legislation proposes that the rape exemption be limited to “forcible rape.”

Laurie Levenson, an expert on criminal law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said that the authors of the bill used language that was unclear. She thinks that some women will probably lose protection if the bill becomes law. Evidently, the term “forcible rape” is not defined in the criminal code—and the authors of the new bill did not provide their own definition of the term. In addition, there is no legal definition of “forcible rape” in some states. This would make it unclear whether any abortions could be covered by the rape exemption in those states.

What are some types of rape that would no longer be covered by the rape exemption if this bill becomes law? The rapes of women with limited mental capacity and rapes in which women were drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol.

Sources: Mother Jones

130 thoughts on “Rape Redefined and Brought to You by Members of the US House of Representatives

  1. For now, I’m filing this under “sounds too ridiculous to be true, even from the most saving anti-abortion nuts” and “watch closely, just in case”. This is vague as yet.

  2. So whats the skewed thinking on this??? I see its not law as of yet however whats the thought process to get to this point?? These poor women who will fall under this bit of legislation if passed will be deeply marginalized and forgotten, left to their own devices it seems. I wonder where the compassion is that I hear about so often from my neighbor to the south is when I read such tripe as this. Am wondering just how John Boehner ( R-OH ) would visualize this if say it was his wife or daughter who was raped under such a cruel & heartless law???

  3. Warning: /Civil discourse model off/

    Ah, the boring and trite culture wars…

    Its one thing to have an opinion based on deeply held personal beliefs, it’s another to want to cram them down everyone else’s throats by law. There’s a distinct psychotic fervor that surrounds the concept of abortion and those who vehemently oppose it. Their rationales always fall to magical thinking premises like claiming that human rights starts at conception for which there isn’t the slightest shred of evidence to warrant such a position.

    I consider the people who would support the legislation mentioned above to be spiritually addled, intellectually corrupt and fascist in their desire to enforce their moral choices on the rest us. They are idiots not because of their personal beliefs about abortion, but because of their belief that it is ethical to universally enforce their beliefs by legislation. That they can’t understand that error in thinking demonstrates perfectly how out of touch and psychotic they are.

  4. Good posting Elaine. If this proposed legislation becomes law. some women who were raped by their fathers or relatives and were too afraid to file a report will probably fall outside the “forcible” rape designation. It is just one more way for the Republican crazies to denigrate women in our society. The Republicans should ask the Taliban for assistance in writing the their “new” definition of rape.

  5. Elaine,

    Clearly, but what I meant was some particular type of non-forceable rape they don’t think is bad enough to justify funding abortions.

    My guess is its just incrementalism, but if anyone has another insight, I’d love to hear it.

  6. It always amazes me how these”men”seem to always know whats best for women.Their thinking is try to make people forget our history.

    “The New Deal administration of Franklin Roosevelt brought an unprecedented number of women to Washington to serve in positions of power and influence. “Beyond Suffrage” is a study of women who achieved positions of national leadership in the 1930s. Susan Ware discusses the network they established, their attitudes toward feminism and social reform, and the impact they had upon the New Dears social welfare policies and on Democratic party politicsThe New Deal administration of Franklin Roosevelt brought an unprecedented number of women to Washington to serve in positions of power and influence. “Beyond Suffrage” is a study of women who achieved positions of national leadership in the 1930s. Susan Ware discusses the network they established, their attitudes toward feminism and social reform, and the impact they had upon the New Dears social welfare policies and on Democratic party politics”

  7. not just the poor women….everyone is affected by abortion and everyone is affected by unwanted children in the heavy burden on the cost of medical intervention and social aid….remember, the manner of creep that rapes does not usually prey on wealthy and socially well protected people…they are cretins whose behavior is predatory and self serving, not self governed….

    …and when rape is redefined to a more relaxed definition….there will be more of them.

    This is, however, an opportunity to take aim at the CAUSES of the needs for abortion…ie; stricter definition of anti-social actions resulting in unwanted pregnancy through trickery and/or rape…stricter and faster consequences for rapists and sexual predators, more funding for sexual education for those who are at risk, ….and heres a thought, support of the victim regardless of her choice should she find herself in the position of having an unwanted pregnancy…THIS, in and of itself, would lead to fewer abortions and greatly reduce the very real stigma that accompanies rape in any of its various guises….

  8. James M.,
    I think is part incrementalism as you suggested, but it is also related to the victim’s gender, in my opinion. Will date rape incidents fall under this new suggested category because there was no forcible penetration?

  9. And so it begins … the presentation of issues designed to divide … let’s gear up for 2012 … the Orange Man cometh

  10. You are absolutely correct Blouise. The Republicans don’t care about the middle and lower classes. They only care about getting the uninformed and ill-informed and the gullible to believe their crap which is designed to keep corporations in power.

  11. rafflaw,

    Republicans are always at war … the problem is that one can’t eat gun powder or hug C-4 … angry voices can’t sing a lullaby so the children cry … angry words can’t form compromises only divisions … Reagan sent them to war within their own country and the Bush’s incited further fear and hate so they no longer know what a peaceful home is let alone how to build one … The Orange Man cometh astride his fire-breathing mount doing his master’s bidding … 2012 will be filled with anger and hate for it is all the Republican know and all they have to offer.

  12. As far as I am concerned all rape is forcible whether through mental indimidation, drugging, or physical force. One of the biggest enablers are the false charges of rape, which make them so despicable, and in my estimation should be unlawful.

    Men (like these bozos) seem to think because a woman looks just the same she can’t have suffered so much and the child is more important than her mental and spiritual health.

    I suspect it’s something someone who has not experienced it cannot really understand so everyone should try to be aware of their inability to really grasp the totality of violation.

    People who have experinced robbery or home invasion often talk of feeling violated. They have some small sense of what it must be like.

    I’m back to my projected “sensor machine” designed for all politicians to be required to use so they might experience all situations psychologically before serving in office. A good sci fi story, I always thought.

  13. Where have the strong female political voices been in this, the woman who have and hold power, where is their voice to this bit of absurdity???

  14. Already had this debate on here. Many said Pelosi should go and it would have no effect on a woman’s right to choose. Strong women – I think Bachmann would agree with these men. These people always take things farther than you can imagine when they come into power.

  15. Swarthmore mom,

    I remember the debate.

    It’s funny the things that can bring tears to the eyes of John “Crybaby” Boehner. On the other hand, he seems to have no compassion for women who might be given a date rape drug and then violated…or victims of incest…or women who are mentally incapacitated and who are sexually molested.

    BTW, Matt Taibbi has an interseting article about Boehner in the January 20th issue of Rolling Stone–“The Crying Shame of John Boehner.”

    Here’s the beginning sentence:
    “John Boehner is the ultimate Beltway hack, a man whose unmatched and self-serving skill at political survival has made him, after two decades in Washington, the hairy blue mold on the American congressional sandwich.”

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/matt-taibbi-the-crying-shame-of-john-boehner-20110105

  16. Here we go again. Rape is defined by the states. These states righters should leave the definition of rape to the states. The republicans are always complaining about encroachment of the federal government, but now they are all behind a federal law that re-writes state common law defining rape. They play with the clear meaning of the Constitution’s reservation of states’ rights to suit their own purposes.

  17. Rape is a gender issue only because in most instances of physical rape men are either stronger or outnumber women. [and misogynists, like other pervs, make good rapists…] Boys get raped all the time. Men get raped all the time. Families get raped all the time. Businesses get raped all the time.

    rape
    1    /reɪp/ Show Spelled [reyp] Show IPA noun, verb, raped, rap·ing.
    –noun
    1.an act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
    2.the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
    3.statutory rape.
    4.an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
    5.Archaic . the act of seizing and carrying off by force.
    –verb (used with object)
    6.to force to have sexual intercourse.
    7.to plunder (a place); despoil.
    8.to seize, take, or carry off by force.
    –verb (used without object)
    9.to commit rape.
    ~online dictionary
    —————————–
    legal definition:
    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/rape

    Helpful too would be the enlightenment of those in power to the FACT that rape is a CRIME OF POWER. It is usually committed when an imbalance of some form of power is present or perceived and acted upon by force , intimidation or trickery.

    A great impact would be obtained if the legal definition more closely approximated the real meaning of the word in general. The understanding of the nature of the crime would lead to a more rational and less exploitative enforcement of the laws designed to make rape aversive to those who use it as an acceptable method of projecting thier pervy power lust….

  18. Culheath gets the underpinnings of this mentality right in a short, but densely worded post, that expands one’s thoughts.
    Yes, qas other have so well commented this is very much about the repression and denigration of women. Given all that, however, it is about how to use a contentious issue to gain political power to enforce the public’s thought processes. For me the tip-off on abortion has always been the concurrent opposition of the movement’s leaders to education on birth control and sexuality.

  19. Mike Spindell,

    “For me the tip-off on abortion has always been the concurrent opposition of the movement’s leaders to education on birth control and sexuality.”

    It’s also akin to the position of the Catholic church, which opposes the use of birth control methods/devices…yet also opposes abortion. I think many Catholic male clergy look upon women as child producers and little more.

  20. Elaine,

    I would like to point out to both you and Matt that unlike some bread molds, there is no beneficial use for the Crybaby other than as cautionary example.

  21. Elaine,
    I tnink you are wrong. The Church looks upon women as objects that are here to please Man and nothing else. And the Catholics aren’t alone at that disparaging view of women. By the way, I think I will stick with my Turkey sandwiches instead of a Boener Congressional sandwich!

  22. rafflaw,

    If we gals are just here to please men–why would the church frown upon birth control? The church wants women to produce lots of little Catholics. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

    I think most religions look upon men as the superiors of women.

  23. Elaine,
    You are right that most religons look upon men as the superiors of men. The Catholic Church does want to produce lots of little Catholics, but only if they tow the line. They don’t want birth control because it would give Women the power to control their own lives and they may actually say no to the Church.
    There was an old joke that asked, “What do you call people who use the Rhythm method of Birth Control”? ………Parents.

  24. Buckeye:

    “As far as I am concerned all rape is forcible whether through mental indimidation, drugging, or physical force. One of the biggest enablers are the false charges of rape, which make them so despicable, and in my estimation should be unlawful.

    Men (like these bozos) seem to think because a woman looks just the same she can’t have suffered so much and the child is more important than her mental and spiritual health.”

    I was thinking the same exact thing but felt that perhaps I was being simplistic and naive. I’m glad someone has voiced the same concerns as I have.

    John of Orange is telling me that women aren’t worthy of protection. That if we are raped, regardless of how, we are told to deal with it.

    If rape results in a pregnancy, we are told to deal with it.

    If we are abused, we are told to deal with it.

    If we are further victimized by the very system that is supposed to protect us, we are told to deal with it.

    If we don’t receive equal pay, we are told to deal with it.

    If we are denied employment advancement, we are told to deal with it.

    I can go on and on, but this is the gist.

    At this point in time, I shouldn’t have to deal with it – I am tired of being shoved to the side and told to deal with it. Particularly when those telling me to do so are seeking to define rights and laws based on their sorry-ass beliefs.

  25. Elaine M.,

    Many thanks for the link!! Good DOG, I love Stephen Colbert! He has such a way with words, doesn’t he??

  26. Elaine M.,

    “Crying” – you need to stop this. It is cruel and unusual punishment. My stomach hurts from laughing!!

  27. Stamford Liberal,”At this point in time, I shouldn’t have to deal with it – I am tired of being shoved to the side and told to deal with it. Particularly when those telling me to do so are seeking to define rights and laws based on their sorry-ass beliefs.”

    I agree with only a couple added thoughts…if you shove me aside and tell me to go deal with what you have wrought based on your sorry-ass beliefs at the expense of my sore-bottom end, why do you also think you have a right to tell me HOW and with what PARAMETERS I must use to deal with it?

  28. Wlaine,
    Great link to Roy Orbison singing about Mr. Speaker Boehner. I am trying to figure out who is stranger, Roy Orbison or Boehner and I am afraid Boehner is stranger, but he may have some “medical” issues that causes the frequent crying.

  29. How is the current federal law enforced? If there is an exception for “rape” (without a verbal qualifier) must there be some proof, like a criminal conviction, an indictment or a police report? I’m trying to get at the question of what/how might this wording change translate into reality.

    Yes, this changes sounds like an obviously bad idea, but it also sounds like it might end up having no real world effect.

    This wouldn’t be the first time that the politicians in DC throw their “culture war” driven suckers/donors/volunteers/voters some meaningless crap in exchange for donations, hours of volunteering and/or votes. The anti-abortion crowd has been played and strung along for decades now. (I suspect that playing to them was a big part of McCain selecting Palin, for example).

    The only real progress they could make would be with a constitutional amendment, and that isn’t going to happen any time soon. Instead, the professional politicians talk up a storm and fight little skirmishes of trying to increase the regulatory burden on healthcare providers and creating odd barriers for minors seeking abortions. As long as the single-issue voters reward them for this trickle of dreck, the right-wing politicians will continue feeding it to them and collecting the corporate cash that is the reward for their real work in DC.

  30. rafflaw:

    “That is the rumor about Mr. Speaker.”

    Slurred speech is usually an indicator. From my perspective, it seems every time John of Orange has a press conference, he slurs his way through it.

  31. Stamford, you could be right. He does have a slurred speech issue quite often as well.
    Tomdarch,
    I mentioned earlier that if a child is abused by a parent on mulitple occasions, it may no longer being considered forcible since the victim did not “resist”. Date rape situations might not be considered rape because the victim was not forced to have sex.

  32. Now may be a good time to remember that Mr. Boehner is next in line to the Presidency after VP Biden. Followed by Mr. Inouye, Ms. Clinton, Mr. Geithner, and Mr. Gates.

    Think about it.

  33. petition signed, word passed…
    Rape is NEVER JUSTIFIED, NEVER SUPPORTABLE….and it’s NASty (Not About Sex…)

  34. From Huffington Post (2/1/2011)
    What’s Behind The Drive To Redefine Rape In New And Insane Ways?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/01/whats-behind-the-drive-to-redefine-rape_n_816967.html

    Excerpt:
    The recent drive behind H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” is animated by one thing and one thing only — the deep and abiding belief among its cosponsors that women are chattel. Not even that “babies are great” — many of the same cosponsors are those who’d all but wash their hands of the responsibility of ensuring those children got affordable health care. But what’s getting all of the attention in the bill is the part where legislators have banded together to mansplain the various shadings of the crime of “rape” to America.

    Definition of “mansplain”:
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Mansplain

  35. rafflaw,

    I just found this:

    From The Raw Story (2/1/2011)
    Exclusive: Dem calls GOP rape-redefining bill ‘a violent act against women’
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/wasserman-schultz-gop-rape-violent-women/

    Excerpts:
    WASHINGTON – Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) on Monday tore into House Republicans for proposing legislation that would limit access to abortion coverage for some rape victims.

    The Florida Democrat, a rising star in her party and vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, is a leading voice on women’s issues. And she didn’t mince her words in an interview with Raw Story, fiercely denouncing GOP colleagues over H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”

    “It is absolutely outrageous,” Wasserman Schultz said in an exclusive interview late Monday afternoon. “I consider the proposal of this bill a violent act against women.”
    *****

    “It really is — to suggest that there is some kind of rape that would be okay to force a woman to carry the resulting pregnancy to term, and abandon the principle that has been long held, an exception that has been settled for 30 years, is to me a violent act against women in and of itself,” Wasserman Schultz said.

    “Rape is when a woman is forced to have sex against her will, and that is whether she is conscious, unconscious, mentally stable, not mentally stable,” the four-term congresswoman added.

  36. Elaine, I am still on my vacation as the plane was cancelled due to bad weather in Dallas. This assault on women by the republicans started faster than I could even have imagined. Also, Breitbart is going after Planned Parenthood in an attempt to run them out of business as they did ACORN.

  37. ‘Wasserman Schultz also said the bill contradicted the GOP’s core political philosophy.

    “Even though Republicans say they want government out of our lives, this is the most intrusive governmental act that we’ve probably seen to date in the personal lives of women,” she said.

    hear! hear!

  38. Elaine M,

    Thanks for the links – sheds more light on this shame the GOP is trying to do.

    I admire Rep. Wasserman Schultz for her speaking out about this. I am curious as to why more women in Congress aren’t following suit.

  39. I got a little vexed about this and tweeted as follows:

    ‘Extreme right #GOP #rape bill “a violent act against women” http://dlvr.it/FZZx0 #abortion #misogyny #culturewar’

    The only thing I’d change, on reflection,is “#culturewar”. This is actually about a war against women.

    You might like to retweet that, or make up your own tweet. The politicians, you know, take notice of the social media, not only on influential blogs like this, but on the big social spaces such as Facebook (spits) and Twitter.

  40. I often post on fb, because I think so many people are not getting the message and mainstream media sucks these days. One thing I have noticed….I most often hear things via blogs and fb loooooooong before the newscasts. I am reluctant though, to change my brain chemistry to reflect the tweetsters….theres just not enuff info to do justice to the thought…

  41. Swarthmore mom,

    Planned Parenthood jumped on this very quickly (week if the 16th) and called the FBI and wrote a letter to Eric Holder regarding the possibility of human trafficking. That hasn’t kept the propagandists at Live Action from posting their ‘investigation’ but I’m hoping it brings some heat down on them.

    AP report in the Washington Post 1-24-11:

    “AP Exclusive: Planned Parenthood seeks FBI probe”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/24/AR2011012404462.html

  42. Thanks for the links Elaine!

    This movement at the grassroots level is inspired IMO by the religious concept of the proper role for women, which is to be submissive to her ‘men’ and a vessel for new life. Women, in this world view, have no Constitutional right to privacy (or any other rights, not even to decent treatment- see below) when that right infringes their role as biblically dictated.

    “Mrs. Pastor Steven L. “Zsuzsanna” Anderson answers the question, “Should a wife divorce an abusive husband:”

    The only Biblical recourse for a horrible marriage, or any marriage for that matter, is death. If your husband is an abusive, mean, hateful, fill-in-the-blank jerk in spite of you doing your best as a wife, God can kill him whenever He wants to. If he is still alive, God must want you to still be married to him. A wife could pray and fast for her husband/marriage, and for the kids to turn out right in spite of marital problems. If nothing else, it will be a great lesson for the kids, who hopefully will grow up and make wiser and more careful choices regarding their future spouse, rather than learning that marriage can be dissolved at a whim.”

    http://stevenandersonfamily.blogspot.com/2011/01/so-youre-married-to-jerk.html?showComment=1295494916994#c5069084393664801258

  43. Sigh.

    AP Exclusive: Planned Parenthood seeks FBI probe

    “NEW YORK — Planned Parenthood, a perennial protest target because of its role in providing abortions, has notified the FBI that at least 12 of its health centers were visited recently by a man purporting to be a sex trafficker but who may instead be part of an attempted ruse to entrap clinic employees.

    In each case, according to Planned Parenthood, the man sought to speak privately with a clinic employee and then requested information about health services for sex workers, including some who he said were minors and in the U.S. illegally.

    Planned Parenthood’s vice president for communications, Stuart Schear, said the organization has requested an FBI probe of the man’s claims and has already fielded some initial FBI inquiries. However, Schear said Planned Parenthood’s own investigation indicates that the man has links with Live Action, an anti-abortion group that has conducted previous undercover projects aimed at discrediting the nation’s leading abortion provider.

    Lila Rose, Live Action’s founder and president, described Planned Parenthood’s assertion as “very interesting.” She declined to confirm or deny that the clinic visits were part of a Live Action operation, but did indicate in a telephone interview that an undercover videotape project of some sort was in the works.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/24/AR2011012404462.html

    Andy Not-So-Bright is at it again. He posted the hack job on his award-winning, truly honest website, “Big Journalism.”

  44. Tony & SL,

    From Media Matters (2/1/2011)
    HOAX VIDEO EXPOSED: Planned Parenthood Already Reported “Sex Trafficking” To FBI
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201102010014

    Excerpt:

    Today, anti-abortion rights propagandist Lila Rose released her latest in a series of heavily edited videos seeking to demonstrate that Planned Parenthood engages in criminal activities. Rose’s organization, Live Action, claims their video exposes what they call “Planned Parenthood’s cover-up of child sex trafficking.”

    Except that isn’t what the video shows at all.

    Rather, the Live Action video shows edited comments made by a single Planned Parenthood employee. Live Action has so far refused to publicly release the full video of the incident, instead posting what the organization itself admits is an “abridged 11-minute video.” (Live Action claims they are “sending full footage” to law enforcement officials.) [UPDATE: Live Action subsequently released what they say is the full video.]

    Is Live Action accurately portraying the Planned Parenthood employee’s statements and actions? It’s impossible to say for sure without the full video, but there is good reason for media to be skeptical. Lila Rose, after all, began infiltrating abortion clinics in collaboration with James O’Keefe — a convicted criminal who repeatedly lied about his heavily edited ACORN videos. Rose herself has a history of smearing the subjects of her videos.

    But even if Live Action’s video doesn’t take the employee out of context, the incident obviously doesn’t show Planned Parenthood covering up child sex trafficking. That’s because Planned Parenthood has already reported the “potential sex trafficking” to law enforcement officials.

    **********

    Thanks for the links.

    BTW, you’ll find a link to the video in the Media Matters article.

  45. Elaine M,

    Thanks for the MediaMatters post. With Ms. Rose’s history, and her affilations with James O’Keefe, I do not believe for one minute that what she says is the unedited version is, in fact, unedited.

    It boggles my mind that she and, by extension James O’Keefe, tout their journalistic “integrity” and search for truth, resort to such tactics. But, as we know, they have no integrity, and their true mission isn’t seeking truth. That their only mission is to slander, demonize and potentially ruin those organizations that help those who the Lila Rose’s et al deem unworthy to their definition of society.

    Kudos to PP for beating her to the punch.

  46. The problem with the Live Action video is the same problem we saw with the Acorn video IMO: it won’t matter if it paints a false picture to the people making the laws or agitating for an end to abortion and family planning services. It will simply be a false reason to restrict government funding and propagandize the issue. That it’s false doesn’t mean it won’t be used to ‘good’ effect by the people already looking for an excuse. I hope I’m wrong but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  47. Elaine, especially, but also everyone else on this thread,

    Thank you so much for doing all this research … I have not commented much but I have been reading every post and link and it has been very helpful. (I recognize I am attempting to assuage my guilt over laziness … never-the-less, my gratitude is sincere)

    I have always had difficulty discussing this material as a very good friend of mine suffered terribly … forgive my silence.

  48. Just when I think the religious right cannot fall any further in my estimation, they pull something like this. Even though they were caught in the act, they’re trying to brazen it out and actually trying to blame their victim. As I said before, fucking shitholes. They won’t be happy until they’ve destroyed everything worth having.

  49. “This latest incident marks the most recent attack on abortion, a conversation that’s really about poor women of color, who are the ones left most in danger when abortions are harder to access.” commondreams.org/headline/2011/01/27-3
    ————————————–

    color schmolor, advocating the denial of abortion access and rights is about condemning women to the role of chattel for the purpose of use….pure and simple. It is a pure statement that women have only 1 path….to bear children, regardless of resource, regardless of who the father is (thus promoting rape) and regardless of consequence (contratry to popular myth, childebearing is not without risk or investment on the womans part….).

    This is a sick power play

  50. The one thing that has ever made me want to download copyrighted material is the Daily Show. I used to stream sections of their show from the website every day, but then a UK channel, More4 started broadcasting the whole episodes and at the same time Comedy Central stopped letting people from British IP numbers download any broadcast material. Now More4 has stopped its daily broadcasts and only shows the weekly digest, the “International Edition”, and Comedy Central still won’t let me see the show.

    If I want to see this news-based comedy show near to the time of broadcast literally have no option except to break the law.

  51. Tony,

    I think The Daily Show and The Colbert Report often “get it” better than “real” news. They expose politicians and their inane statements and actions. Stewart and Colbert get at the truth of the matter by skewering idiots and hypocrites.

  52. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/report-republicans-give-up-on-forcible-rape.php?ref=fpb With the help of Jon Stewart women’s groups get the republicans to give up. None of this would be happening if we still had Nancy Pelosi. Can’t get past the arguments I had on this blog about how much better things would be when Pelosi was gone. The democrats will probably lose the Senate. The next argument will be how much better things will be when Obama loses to the republicans.

  53. “This latest incident marks the most recent attack on abortion, a conversation that’s really about poor women of color”

    Woosty,
    Good point. One of the greatest mistakes of those selling or defending progressive ideas is to only focus on the poor or the outcasts. This regressive attack on abortion is an attack on all women’s bodies and should be discussed in that vein. Similarly the focus on health care was on those millions without it. This allowed the focus to stray from the fact that the system is broken and that the middle (shrinking) and working classes that represent the majority of people in this country, were also suffering from the predations of the Health Care Insurance industry and from the for profit Hospital Corporations.

    The right of control of their own bodies is an issue for every woman and that is the point that should be made in defending it. This is not to say that people on the bottom of the economic scale are not terribly affected, my lifetime’s work has taught me this, but by using them as the reasoning it lets the ordinary citizen off the hook by viewing the problem as not affecting them. My greatest anger toward President Obama is that he has framed his battles in this way and thus allowed the mass of Americans to disregard the need, thinking it doesn’t affect them.

  54. I’m glad the Repugs have backed down on the language regarding rape but still intact:language that makes it tougher for women to obtain abortion coverage through their private insurers. So what is the difference between regulating what PRIVATE insurere can NOT cover vs. what they MUST cover? Isn’t this a tad hypocritical?

    Mike Spindell: “My greatest anger toward President Obama is that he has framed his battles in this way and thus allowed the mass of Americans to disregard the need, thinking it doesn’t affect them.” I agree…but the US of A is no longer a Unified Country having been split stem to stern by ideology and athwartship economically….so how else can he proceed with any effect at this point?

  55. The “forceable” rape provision may be out but the change to tax exemption for private insurance is still in the bill and this could well induce employers (that greatly benefit from the insurance exemption) to drop coverage that does cover abortion. The bills sponsors won’t take questions on that though.

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/12/end-abortion-insurance

    From Mother Jones:
    “Perhaps the easiest way to answer questions about a bill’s intent and impact is to go to the men who wrote it. But that’s not as easy as it sounds. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) was an original co-sponsor of the bill with Smith (Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.). But Lipinski’s office said he wouldn’t be available to answer questions about it—and didn’t respond to followup queries. Smith’s office was even less responsive—multiple calls and emails over a period of several weeks produced no one who could comment on the bill. Are abortion rights supporters right that the bill would affect private, employer-provided health insurance? Or are they blowing things out of proportion to fire up their base? I can’t get an answer.”

  56. Woosty, we were apparently composing our postings at the same time regarding making it more difficult to get abortion coverage through private insurers; great minds thinking alike and all that :-)

    “…stem to stern by ideology and athwartship economically…” Wow, nice turn of phrase there.

  57. SwM,

    That’s what I wondered after your post from the airport.

    Hate to say “I told you so” about Pelosi but we did! Just wait till all the graft and greed returns to that office when the Orange Man really gets settled in.

  58. Lottakatz,

    “The “forceable” rape provision may be out but the change to tax exemption for private insurance is still in the bill and this could well induce employers (that greatly benefit from the insurance exemption) to drop coverage that does cover abortion. The bills sponsors won’t take questions on that though.”

    I’m reposting the link below for you. Cenk Uygur interviewed Democratic Rep. Diana Degette of Colorado on his show and they discussed what you wrote about in your comment above.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3096434/#41396896

  59. Elaine and Lotta,
    The information is astounding that in this day and age employers are being forced to choose between money and providing insurance for their employees to cover an abortion even in a rape situation.

  60. Regarding the term “forcible rape”: I have always thought rape was a crime of force. Here are two definitions of rape that I found in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:

    Rape

    – Noun: The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.

    – Verb: To force (another person) to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.

  61. this bill is an ECONOMIC BROADSIDE delivered like a backdoor trojan horse to control public behavior that eliminates abortion as a remedy to inflicted harm.

    Caution; NASty alert:

  62. Elaine,
    you would be correct, but the Republicans are trying the back door approach, as Woosty suggests, to overturn Roe v. Wade. They have no real care about women or rape, but they do love their blastos!

  63. rafflaw,

    I know what the Republicans are attempting to do. Did they think their devious tactics weren’t obvious to anyone with even half a brain?

    The reason I posted the definitions was because the fact that all rapes are forced upon unwilling individuals isn’t being discussed. Even I didn’t address it in my post. Shame on me!

  64. Lottakatz, thanks, every once in a great while I get to use colorful language to meaningful effect :)

  65. On sooner have there useless loonies managed to stage a swift withdrawal of their idiotic “forcible rape” language than the run into another mound of trouble with a clause in another bill that would allow hospitals to refuse an abortion that was needed to save a woman’s life.

    By the way, did I say these people were a bunch of useless bloody loonies? The British National Health Service isn’t perfect but at least we don’t have to put up with brainless wankers like this messing women’s lives up.

    http://dlvr.it/FkZyr (NARAL)

  66. I think the point of this proposed bill is being missed. Although I support a woman’s right to choose, the Federal Government shouldn’t be funding abortions, period. That is a State’s responsibility and should be legislated accordingly.

  67. IT,

    Why don’t you just propose that to the several states and see if you can get some soliloquy of excellence in offering…or maybe you should back to your crack pipe as you still have the possibility of getting hi from some of the residual Drano …..

  68. Independent Thinker 1, February 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I think the point of this proposed bill is being missed. Although I support a woman’s right to choose, the Federal Government shouldn’t be funding abortions, period. That is a State’s responsibility and should be legislated accordingly.
    ———————————

    I’m trying to remember if there was Federal funding for busing during desegregation…..I know they spent a lot of money via Nat’l Guard to help keep order consequently …

  69. Thanks to Woosty and Buddha and everyone who is posting links on the subject of this thread.

    Now…read this!

    From TPMDC (2/4/2011)
    New GOP Bill Would Allow Hospitals To Let Women Die Instead Of Having An Abortion
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/new-gop-law-would-allow-hospitals-to-let-women-die-instead-of-having-an-abortion.php?ref=fpb

    Excerpt:
    The controversy over “forcible rape” may be over, but now there’s a new Republican-sponsored abortion bill in the House that pro-choice folks say may be worse: this time around, the new language would allow hospitals to let a pregnant woman die rather than perform the abortion that would save her life.

    The bill, known currently as H.R. 358 or the “Protect Life Act,” would amend the 2010 health care reform law that would modify the way Obamacare deals with abortion coverage. Much of its language is modeled on the so-called Stupak Amendment, an anti-abortion provision pro-life Democrats attempted to insert into the reform law during the health care debate last year. But critics say a new language inserted into the bill just this week would go far beyond Stupak, allowing hospitals that receive federal funds but are opposed to abortions to turn away women in need of emergency pregnancy termination to save their lives.

    The sponsor of H.R. 358, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) is a vocal member of the House’s anti-abortion wing. A member of the bipartisan Pro-Life Caucus and a co-sponsor of H.R 3 — the bill that added “forcible rape” to the lexicon this week — Pitts is no stranger to the abortion debate. But pro-choice advocates say his new law goes farther than any other bill has in encroaching on the rights of women to obtain an abortion when their health is at stake. They say the bill is giant leap away from accepted law, and one they haven’t heard many in the pro-life community openly discuss before.

    Pitts’ response to the complaints from pro-choice groups? Nothing to see here.

  70. Elaine: My friend that lobbies for Planned parenthood is working overtime. The republican victories at the state and national level have dealt women a major setback regardless of what Tony C says. Rick Perry has abortion bills listed as emergency legislation here.

  71. this is bizarro….what’s really going on in those hallowed halls that the inflammatory rape card, and now the death card are being played?

    Well they’ve almost been successfull at having me pack my bags and move to a more civilized place….

  72. You have my most profound sympathy, “Woosty’s still a Cat”. I run into these nuts occasionally but only ever on the internet. That’s bad enough, at least I don’t have to deal with people like that in real life, and much less so in positions where they might actually have the power to put their wicked, inhuman notions into practice.

  73. As a woman who was raped…and recieved no bruises or broken bones…and no child…I still find this to be the most horrid piece of shit ever. BROKEN BONES ARE NOTHING compared to your EMOTIONAL DAMAGE! What idiot, woman hating, rapist thought up this crap? You need control on the women filing false claims…understandable…so your solution is to punish thoes who really are? To deny them them thier rights as a HUMAN BEING not just a woman!!! NO MEANS NO! THATS RAPE! I cried when I read this…I hope to God it is a cruel joke…

  74. Swarthmore Mom,
    Thanks for the latest link to the Democratic response to this craziness. Elaine, thanks for keeping this issue alive.
    Amberlynn,
    I am sorry for your pain, but this is no joke. These right to live crusaders only care about keeping their radical base enflamed and certaintly not women and children.

  75. Swarthmore mom,

    Thanks for the link.

    **********

    The GOP hasn’t given up yet! They’ve inserted a provision in the “Protect Life Act” that would deny pregnant women with life-threatening conditions the right to get abortions in order to save their lives. Read the following article:

    From Mother Jones (2/8/2011)
    If You Thought the GOP’s “Rape Redefinition” Bill Was Bad…
    Check out the new proposal that could allow doctors to refuse to provide any abortion—even one intended to save a woman’s life.
    — By Maddie Oatman
    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/joe-pitts-protect-life-act-abortion

    Excerpt:

    Last week, the GOP backed down from its attempt to limit the definition of rape under federal abortion law. But hold your applause: While the Republican leadership was removing the controversial “forcible rape” provision from the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) was busy slipping a provision into a related bill, the “Protect Life Act,” that could prove just as controversial.

    Supporters of abortion rights say Pitts’ latest effort would allow doctors and hospitals to refuse to perform any abortion, even one that was needed to save the life of a pregnant woman. A Pitts spokesman told Talking Points Memo on Friday that the bill simply clarifies existing law and suggested that the new measure does not go beyond current law. (That’s the same claim that defenders of the “forcible rape” language made before ultimately scrapping it.) But contra Pitts’ attempt to downplay the new provision, a close look shows that it may change what hospitals are required to do in the very rare cases when an abortion is needed to save a woman’s life—and the provision itself may even be unconstitutional.

    As it stands right now, a pregnant woman with a life-threatening condition cannot be turned away by a hospital, even if her condition requires a doctor to abort her child. A federal law, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), requires hospitals that receive federal funds (almost all of them do) to provide you with emergency treatment or transfer you to a hospital that can. Pitts’ provision would trump that law, allowing a doctor to not only deny an abortion to a dying pregnant woman but to also refuse to transfer that woman to a place where she might be able to receive an abortion. In fact, the hospital would not be required to do anything at all.

  76. Amberlynn 1, February 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm “I cried when I read this…I hope to God it is a cruel joke…”
    ———————
    You are not alone in your crying. And yes, it’s no joke and definitely cruel. I have tried to understand where these people are coming from and I don’t think it has anything to do with rape or even women. If men could make babies they would be treated the same way by this particular mob. This is quite simply a gang who are so invested in power that the right to say yes or no to the beginning or ending of life is no longer a dialogue between Wo/Man and G*d, because they actually think they are G*d. So now, in order to see that rape and its many variants are made fruitful, unless THEY say otherwise, they are willing to rape a whole Country.

    A major problem is that they have proven to be totally resistant to reason or even dialogue….it is a proven fact, you can not listen and be present when there is the loud clattering and clanging of agenda in your mind…

    Hatred- The Anger of the Weak.

  77. ‘This is quite simply a gang who are so invested in power that the right to say yes or no to the beginning or ending of life is no longer a dialogue between Wo/Man and G*d, because they actually think they are G*d.”
    ————————-

    …a lowly thought….it may also be about $$$$$, plain and simple.
    The article at the end of Elaines link says that under this new bill, for profit hospitals would not be held to EMTLA standards. Another way to control resources, which ultimately controls procreation anyway….

  78. Elaine, the language you cite is analogous to the ‘opt-out due to conscience’ laws that pharmacists have allowing them to refuse service to women by dispensing the morning after pill. There was a case in Iowa recently where the pharmacist actually broke he law (by hanging up the phone) and refused a request to disclose the name/location of another pharmacy that wold fill the prescription in question, one for a potential life-saving blood coagulant. The Iowa pharmacy board did not have a problem with the pharmacists actions after a complaint was brought.

    The legislation you quote appears to remove all pretense of non-discrimination, and discrimination is exactly what it is, by not mandating any alternative action on the part of the hospital to mitigate harm. I can not believe that this law would withstand a constitutional challenge because it discriminates against women on its face.

    http://www.topix.com/forum/state/mn/T1BA5TLVMDC9CV5M8

  79. Lottakatz,
    It is getting very dicey for women out there. If the Republicans get control of both houses there are enough crazies to try to stop all abortions and even contraception. One more reason for a woman to stay away from the Right.

  80. If the worst comes to the worst come to the British mainland (not Northern Ireland, sadly). Here the religion-obsessed bigots have been on the run for decades and they don’t have the power to interfere with women’s rights.

  81. Swarthmore Mom,
    I wouldn’t believe those odds. They way the House is already screwing up, I don’t think they will gain any seats overall in the Senate. That could change depending on if the Dems lose anyone elze to K street or retirement.

  82. Tony Sidaway 1, February 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    “If the worst comes to the worst come to the British mainland (not Northern Ireland, sadly). Here the religion-obsessed bigots have been on the run for decades and they don’t have the power to interfere with women’s rights.
    ————————
    Send me a ticket!!!!!

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