Posted by | February 9, 2011 17:22 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

After being hit with an enormous wave of public disgust, House Republicans agreed to remove a controversial provision from their “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” that sought to redefine rape as “forcible rape,” in order to deny federal funding for abortion coverage. Because of confusion over what exactly constitutes “forcible rape,” with its total absence from the criminal justice code, House Republicans agreed to stick to the original language of the Hyde Amendment. Are they not merciful? (This is a Gladiator reference.)

But now that the public is distracted by other issues, Republicans have interestingly continued to leave the “forcible rape” provision in their anti-abortion bill. So what does this mean for poor rape victims trying to seek federal money for abortions through Medicaid? Does date rape still count? How about rape as a result of a verbal threat? Your guess is as good as mine.

We know that statutory rape definitely would not count, because at a hearing by the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution on Tuesday, in defense of the “forcible rape” provision, Richard Doerflinger (pictured) of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops argued that:

The recent debate about forcible rape was simply an effort on the part of the sponsors to prevent the opening of a very broad loophole for federally-funded abortions for any teenager.

Yes, with federal funding for abortion costing taxpayers nearly two tenths of a penny per year, the “broad loophole” for pregnant teenagers is clearly an enormous fiscal concern.

This callous assault on “abortion rights” by the GOP has nothing to do with being “pro-life” and everything to do with being anti-women.

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