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#DearJohn: For When Boehner Decides Your Rape Just Wasn’t Enough

Well, hey there! What a beautiful Saturday afternoon it is! The sun is shining, the air is clear, the slush on the sidewalk is a sparkling shade of Pollution Beige, and OH LORD NO WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS:

Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law.

For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.) But the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress, contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases.

Yep, you got that right! The job-focused, tax-focused economy-building new Congress is getting started right away, with a bill to… deny health coverage to rape survivors.

Oh, but, you know, that only applies the rape survivors who just don’t count. Meaning the majority of rape survivors. Under this new bill, the only rape survivors who would be able to receive funding would be those who were able to prove that their rapes involved “force.” If your rapist drugged you, intoxicated you, or raped you while you were unconscious, you don’t get coverage. If your rapist used coercion, you don’t get coverage. If this is a case of statutory rape — that is, if you are a thirteen-year-old child, raped by someone outside of your family — you don’t get coverage. If you’re an incest survivor over the age of eighteen — if, say, years of abuse only culminated in a pregnancy after your nineteenth birthday — you just don’t get coverage. And if you live in a state that doesn’t distinguish “forcible rape” from “rape,” you might not qualify, meaning that no matter what the circumstances of your assault were, well, sorry: You might not get coverage. 

That’s a lot of survivors, suddenly deprived of coverage. And no, it’s not a coincidence that rape involving “force” — and remember that proving “force” often means proving an overwhelming and potentially deadly amount of violence; other sorts of force often get swept under the rug — is less common than other methods. This bill would deny coverage to most survivors. That’s what it’s about. That’s what it’s intended to do.

There are already restrictions on the use of “taxpayer funds” to pay for abortion: The Hyde Amendment limits them. The Stupak-Pitts Amendment limits them. But both the Hyde Amendment (in its current, post-1977 form) and the Stupak-Pitts Amendment make exceptions for survivors of rape and incest. The federal funds provided through Medicaid cannot be used cover abortion, except in the cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is in danger. The fact is, about half a million women who have abortions each year qualify for Medicaid. And Medicaid only covers around 80 or 90 abortions per year. Of those women, many are probably getting the funding because their pregnancy endangers their lives, not because they’re rape survivors: This big, bold, vital bill is aimed at ripping coverage away from maybe, GENEROUSLY, forty-five people a year. Heck, why not go for broke and say sixty people? Or even seventy-five! WHOA! Staggering numbers, that Boehner and the GOP are targeting here. Clearly, this is a vital target.

But it’s the “except” they have a problem with: That “except” bothers them. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act wants to take that one “except” off the table. It thinks all that compassion we have for rape and incest survivors is a silly idea. Because, you know. What if their rapes really weren’t that bad?

They’re coming for the abortion funding, and the first thing they’re doing is breaking the long-held taboo that says, whatever else you do, don’t come after the rape survivors, they’ve been through enough. According to this bill, you’ve only been through enough if the GOP decides you’ve been through enough. Otherwise, no matter how traumatic your rape was, or how desperately you want or need control of your life and body, you’re fair game. Having had your right to consent to sex violently ripped away, your right to consent to pregnancy and childbirth can now be ripped away as well. 

And yes, of course: If you care at all about the right to choose, the bill is already reprehensible, just on its face. It deprives low-income women of much-needed financial aid for their abortions, when their chances of getting it are already vanishingly slim. It targets the most vulnerable people in our society, and deprives them of much-needed control over their family planning, their lives, and their finances, which they need to survive and keep afloat. Oh, and bonus for the rest of us: Even if you have insurance, this bill might make it impossible for your insurance to cover an abortion. It’s just not okay, any way you look at it.

But this, the part where we decide whose rapes matter and whose rapes don’t, and seek to pass into law a radical redefinition of rape that just so happens to erase the vast majority of rape survivors, is horrifying. Instead of maintaining that rape is always rape, that there’s no such thing as a “minor” or “excusable” rape, the GOP is putting forth a bill that says some rapes are so very minor and excusable as not to warrant consideration. Making this attitude law — any law, anywhere — sets a truly terrifying precedent. It’s unconscionable.

And you know what we like to do when things get unconscionable.

That’s right, kids: It’s time to make the Internet a big, scary problem for some sexists, once again. Our favorite teary-eyed pun-inducing anti-choice lawmaker, John “[BOEHNERS]” Boehner, has dubbed this bill a “top priority” for the new Congress. Which means our top priority is telling him, and all of our representatives, that he’s wrong. Where once there was #MooreandMe, now there is only… #DearJohn.

I’ve been working with fellow feminist writers, activists, organizers, and organizations since last night to get this thing started. The Tweets are already rolling. But you, dear lovely all of you: What could we possibly achieve, without you? Not much, is the answer!

So here’s what is up. Right now, we’re Tweeting at the Boehner — oh, look! Here he is — and at all of our representatives, and we’re going to keep Tweeting, to tell them that this bill is an attack on the rights of survivors everywhere, and that it will not stand. We’re Tweeting to say that all rape is rape. We’re Tweeting to tell them the many ways that this leaves women open to attack and reproductive coercion.  We’re Tweeting to tell them that the exemption for cases of rape and incest must stand, and that it must apply in all cases. We’re Tweeting to tell them that we will not support them if they back it, we will not support them if they “compromise” on “just this one thing” — the rights and dignity of rape survivors are never to be compromised, under any circumstances — and they will not be able to push this redefinition of rape forward. We’re the American people; we got them the jobs they have, and if we are unsatisfied with their performance? We can get them oh, so very, very fired.

Don’t know who your representative is? Find them here, along with ways to contact them. Don’t know how to find your representative on Twitter? Use the Google! We’ll be planning other ways to contact these representatives, and to co-ordinate that action: Stay tuned, as always, for exciting action alerts. And, last but not least: Don’t know why getting involved matters? Try this on for size:

They told us we didn’t count. Imagine their surprise when we all speak up, all at once, to tell them that we do.

77 Comments

  1. Eileen wrote:

    Thank you, Sady, for doing this. I was so happy when you made that tumblr post last night and did what signal boosting I could manage on Plurk. I’ll definitely be as active as I can be this time; #MooreandMe ended up getting super triggery and consequently I ended up lurking more than anything, but I feel very much up to this one, and I’ll do as much as I can.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink
  2. Seth Gray wrote:

    I’ve been tearing my twitter up since I read this, even though I have writing to do. It can wait.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink
  3. Pavlov's Cat wrote:

    Good luck with this.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
  4. Julia wrote:

    i contacted my rep, Boner, and the white house. i used a lot of the point you wrote because they were so on-point and written succinctly. i am sickened at this bill.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
  5. jennygadget wrote:

    I don’t have enough thank yous. and I will do what I can.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink
  6. Vee wrote:

    AWESOME. The ladies over in the ‘hornets nest’ are cheering you on.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
  7. Amy wrote:

    Thank you so much for posting this.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink
  8. SMadin wrote:

    I’m not sure if this is too far out of scope for #DearJohn or not, but I really don’t want to see that bill pass even without the limitation on what “counts” as rape — it would make the Hyde Amendment permanent law, instead of something that has to be renewed each year, and that would make it much, much harder to get rid of.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink
  9. Victoria wrote:

    Fuck yeah to all of this.

    My instincts tell me that this isn’t a serious bill in any sense. Instead, they’re bringing up for vote something that has no chance whatsoever to pass the Senate or get signed into law so that they can thumb their noses at Obama’s SOTU point that the healthcare bill can be modified. It’s deliberately outlandish and stupid so we’ll all pay attention, and when it doesn’t pass they’ll be able to say Dems are uncooperative and the proposal to alter the health bill was a lie.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink
  10. Seth Gray wrote:

    Uh…oops. I accidentally hit the “block and report for spam” button instead of the “mention” button on Boehner’s twitter. >_>

    The funny thing is I really didn’t mean to.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink
  11. hayley wrote:

    this is my first tweety activism, and I’m going full throttle. let’s see what we can do. wish I’d been there for mooreandme but I’ll make up for lost time now. this is too important. boehner disgusts me.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink
  12. Ennu wrote:

    UGH. Just when you think they can’t get any lower. This is heartbreaking.

    Better go figure out how to work twitter and join in the protest.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Permalink
  13. speedbudget wrote:

    I’ve no idea how to work the Twitter, and when I put DEARJOHN in the address, I ended up on some guy’s page, soooo….I hope this works as well as the Moore&Me one!

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink
  14. Kita wrote:

    Shared on reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/feminisms/comments/fbjzb/dearjohn_for_when_boehner_decides_your_rape_just/

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink
  15. Other Becky wrote:

    Actually, as I understand it, you’re not allowed to use any taxpayer money OR TAX BENEFIT. Meaning, say, your own Health Savings Account. Which means it could potentially affect a whole damn lot of women directly.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Permalink
  16. Cerridwen Johnson wrote:

    Any idea who I contact? My Representative is Gabby…

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink
  17. Lidya wrote:

    Good job, Mr. Boehner. Thanks for getting right on to creating all those jobs and all that freedom for us. But yo, real talk? FUCK YOU. The Supreme Court of the United States gives me the right to terminate a pregnancy if I so choose. It does not say I may not do so if I am too poor to pay for medical attention. Oh, and, one more thing? Going after women who have already suffered one attack is really very classy. Stop trying to take ownership and control of my body. You can not nationalize my womb. And as much as you’d like to take it away from me, my uterus belongs to ME, NOT YOU, CREEP.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink
  18. KMTBerry wrote:

    Could you explain very patiently how to do this? I just keep getting BOEHNERS page where he tells ME HIS stupid opinions.

    WHen I really want to tell him MY GREAT OPINIONS

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Permalink
  19. RGR wrote:

    Can you clarify the 80-90 people a year thing? I just wasn’t sure where on the link you cited it said that, and I basically want to use that information in an argument IMMEDIATELY.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink
  20. Palaverer wrote:

    I’m trying to keep a tally of all the awesome links that are getting posted to twitter. Here’s the list so far.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Permalink
  21. Mogatrat wrote:

    Can’t stop the signal, baby.
    I got a link to your blog a while back when I was trying to figure what was up with Privilege Denying Dude, and have since read through all your archives – I wasn’t quite here for Moore&Me to show my support, even thought I have no Twitter, but seriously, Ms. Doyle? You’re fucking awesome. Keep up the good work.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink
  22. Oh, hey, I guess I was never raped then! That’s so awesome to know. Because here I was all these years thinking that I’d been raped multiple times by that scumbag boyfriend who was taking advantage of my severe depression when I was 19 years old… I’m so glad this has been cleared up! I guess I can quit therapy now! I should really go write a thank-you letter…

    WOW. This dude clearly doesn’t want to acknowledge the atrocities that people are capable of. Well, he can go ahead and try. Can he ignore a thousand voices? Ten thousand? A hundred thousand? LET’S FIND OUT.

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink
  23. Also, why aren’t we flooding his Facebook page?? ;)

    http://www.facebook.com/johnboehner

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Permalink
  24. rebekah wrote:

    so I don’t actually use twitter. Is there someone who would be willing to explain how to get in contact with them on there?

    Saturday, January 29, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink
  25. Julia wrote:

    RT #22/Melissa… the link you posted goes to your page, unless you copy/paste the whole thing, then it redirects to his.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 12:10 am | Permalink
  26. Brigid Keely wrote:

    Thanks for (once again) providing a link to my rep. I sent a long email and will follow up with a paper letter about the issue and how it impacts women, complete with some statistics (OH NO STATISTICS).

    Sady, thank you so much for the emotionally draining work that you do. I’m very grateful to you and to the other bloggers and activists and awesome people who are very concretely making a difference.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 12:10 am | Permalink
  27. abby wrote:

    no, no, oh, no. please, someone with an unlocked twitter explain why this is not an okay thing to say: Donna_West: RT @ElsieSnuffin: Don’t rape US citizens by forcing one group’s beliefs on everyone, @speakerboehner. If the GOP can redefine rape, so can we. #dearjohn

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 3:33 am | Permalink
  28. Thank you thank you! Here in Minnesota, no tears were shed when longtime Dem rep & Susan B Anthony List hero Jim Oberstar lost his seat in the fall. Our next target is Collin Peterson, a co-sponsor of this garbage. Women’s reproductive rights are in the party platform, aren’t they?

    …unless it was removed in the night, by stealth, which seems plausible…

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 8:18 am | Permalink
  29. Sigrid wrote:

    Just wrote to my congressperson. Thanks again Sady for all that you do.

    Also tiny moment of rage that this is the fight we need to have right now. How is it that we’re constantly struggling just to avoid losing ground when we are already far behind. It’s sickening.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 8:40 am | Permalink
  30. Miss P. wrote:

    Is there a way I can get involved as a foreigner? I believe the discussion of this law affects women the world over. Sending this out on Twitter anyway.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink
  31. Chai Latte wrote:

    Scuse me a minute, I have to finish vomiting first…

    EW. My state rep VOTED for this. Am trying to calm down enough to email, but that’s really upsetting for me. (My state was blue for awhile, really it was! *sob*)

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink
  32. Madera wrote:

    Just read the article. I’m old enough to remember when “date” rape and rape by a spouse were not “possible”. I remember when it was absolutely the top priority to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the one raped hadn’t “asked” for it in some way. I’ve been lucky. I’ve just missed being raped. My very kind adult male neighbors watched and chuckled while I ran, in obvious distress, from a former boyfriend. Luckily when he finally got a hold of my arm and I bit him hard enough to draw blood, he finally got the idea that I meant, “NO” and to go away. I have friends who weren’t as lucky. I have family members who weren’t as lucky,
    Boehner’s little cost saving redefinition of rape can’t be allowed. No means No. There are no excuses, there are no exceptions. If the other person is not ready, aware, sober, or is in any way pressured, regardless of sex, preference, or the relationship status between those involved, undesired sexual attention is rape and not ever acceptable. Period. And children who are conceived under those circumstances should not ever have to suffer the consequences. Ever. That one, I didn’t escape.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink
  33. Madera wrote:

    Don’t forget your state legislatures and governors, our president, the Supreme Court. They need to hear from us also.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink
  34. Rach wrote:

    I’ve actually created a Twitter account to get involved in this, and I’ve already started a train of this link on Facebook and tumblr to raise awareness about it, and I’ve contacted my rep (the infamously stupid Dr. Paul Broun). Thank you for posting this. I can’t imagine a bill like this would pass, but I’m going to do all I can to stop it!

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Permalink
  35. Seth Gray wrote:

    For those on Twitter, Sady has posted a link with a list of trolls and how to deal with them:

    http://sadydoyle.tumblr.com/post/3006113670/dearjohn-troll-list

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
  36. Kloncke wrote:

    I appreciate the analysis and militancy, but I can’t help but feeling that as feminists we are going about this whole abortion rights movement thing the wrong way. Petitioning the reactionary government? Again?

    Forget the government. No, really. What if feminists trained and learned to provide safe early-stage abortions ourselves? The Jane Collective did this in pre- Roe v. Wade Chicago — providing 12,000 abortions for $25 each (significant money back then, but still). It is not unthinkable to provide safe, community-based, underground abortion services out of a political and moral commitment.

    Reformism and electoral politics are not the answer. Not in the long term. We need to stop being shocked that the state patriarchs are doing what state patriarchs do, and instead organize ourselves to take care of each other. My opinion.

    Thanks again for keeping the spotlight on this, though. Respect and solidarity.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink
  37. Mooji wrote:

    I’m in the UK and all our contraception and abortions are free under our universal healthcare. Plus additional counselling if needed. I’ve tweeted and blogged – you have support in the UK. Restricting access to abortion in any case makes me sick, but to compel a woman or child to carry their rapist’s child is reprehensible. Shocks me that any party or representative could even consider making this law.
    Fight, fight, fight anyone who supports this.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink
  38. Seth Gray wrote:

    Apparently I’ve sent out too many tweets, so I’m out for now. None of my tweets are going through.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink
  39. SouthernSatine wrote:

    I joined Twitter after years of holding out specifically for this issue. I’ve never in my life written my Representative, but this is the day that I start.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink
  40. Jill Noelle wrote:

    Thanks again Sady.
    I’m in the recent Ex-pat Brigade and so have no representatives to write; although my wonderful(former)Vermont reps are all against this garbage legislation. (Heartfelt sigh.) But I’m posting frantically on fb and emailing my friends and contacts in the states and encourage other upthread ex-pats to do the same. A link to your post is next in line.
    My Dutch friends here in the Netherlands find the US abortion/healthcare debacle confusing and upsetting. All I can tell them is “So do I.”

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink
  41. M Dubz wrote:

    @Melissa Bastian- don’t have a twitter, but I’m fighting the good fight on my Facebook page and [BOEHNER]‘s.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
  42. katie wrote:

    Not that it makes this sack of shit that is the HR3 any better, but it does say that none of these restrictions would apply for minors (sec 309(1)). That means pregnancies caused by statutory rape would still be covered.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink
  43. Magdalene wrote:

    I wish to help out on twitter but I don’t really understand how to do it. Could someone please explain the process to me? Thank you.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink
  44. Ouyang Dan wrote:

    Thank you, Sady.

    I just want to add that Republicans have been blocking, for years, servicewomen’s (and military dependents’…ugh I hate that word) ability to do the same. They even have blocked, for years, their right to pay for abortions with their own money in military facilities unless they can prove they were raped (you have to have firm prove and give up your right to privacy). Because otherwise it might accidentally be covered by taxpayer money. It was, again, struck down this last session.

    I would love to see feminist support for it added to this cause. I keep seeing support to get abortion coverage for everyone, but I want to see this picked up for military women who are overseas in countries that don’t allow abortion off of military posts. I don’t see them as separate issues at all. They are both abortion coverage stripped from health care.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink
  45. Seth Gray wrote:

    @Magdalene

    At the very front of your message type @johnboehner, then your message, then the tag #dearjohn.

    You can also message other members of the House via this list that Amadi Talks has put together:

    http://amaditalks.tumblr.com/post/3009672649/h-r-3-co-sponsors-on-twitter

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Permalink
  46. lightbird wrote:

    Just want to comment and say a big thank you to you for organizing this, Sady. And the other feminist writers, activists, bloggers working with you.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink
  47. Seth Gray wrote:

    @Magdalene

    Sady’s twitter just said to replace @johnboehner with @speakerboehner

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Permalink
  48. Renee wrote:

    The one thing I don’t see in your article is the fact that the bill doesn’t just say “No Medicare funds”. It also removes the right to deduct abortion-related medical expenses, to use your Flex Spending Account to cover an abortion, or to deduct costs of a health care coverage plan that includes abortion on your taxes. So even if you don’t HAVE an abortion, but your insurance COVERS it, it isn’t a tax deduction – which means that by popular demand, coverage for abortion goes bye-bye on all insurance policies. In short, as I read it, you either have to carry a special abortion policy OR pay out of pocket only for abortion. REALLY bad legislation, and I shall be following up.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Permalink
  49. Ellie wrote:

    This is absolutely atrocious. I can’t believe it! It’s douchebags like this that make rape victims doubt themselves, never report their attacks and let rapists wander the streets to attack other girls and strip them of their dignity too. There just aren’t words to describe how mad this makes me. Consider me another fighter for the cause.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 12:10 am | Permalink
  50. Meredith wrote:

    Thank you thank you thank you for this call to action, and your Tumblr post. I’m just getting to the point of getting through my PTSD that this kind of whatthefuckery makes me HULK-SMASH ANGRY, and not weepy and panicky and scared. I much prefer the GRRRRRRR SO RIGHTEOUSLY ANGRY GRRRRRRR part, let me tell you. And I can also tell that the “did she bounce?” defense sounds terrifyingly familiar to me. American citizens, male and female, need to know what our elected officials REALLY think of our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, partners, and ourselves and every other woman we know.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 4:21 am | Permalink
  51. Claire Lee wrote:

    How to do this: I scrolled down on Twitter until I found his post re the bill against using taxpayer money for abortion. Then I hit reply and gave my 2 cents worth.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 6:30 am | Permalink
  52. Meg Thornton wrote:

    I’m furious enough at this bill, but to discover they’ve apparently decided “women of limited mental capacity” cannot be eligible for an abortion following a rape, ever, strikes right at the point where I start wanting to rend and tear. Congratulations, guys, you’ve just effectively legalised institutional rape. Ladies, please avoid getting head injuries, or falling into comas, since if you wind up with “reduced mental capacity”, you can apparently be raped with impunity.

    Rape is forcing sexual activity on a person without their consent (preferably their enthusiastic and informed consent). I do not even want to try to figure out how they managed to parlay a situation where consent is either impossible (due to lack of consciousness) or uninformed (due to lack of comprehension) is somehow not going to result in rape. Or why they think a woman who is comatose, or who has an intellectual or social age of six is capable of being an adequate mother to a new baby.

    The US no longer fits on the list of civilised nations.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 6:37 am | Permalink
  53. alexI wrote:

    Just remembering how many new tweeters joined for #mooreandme, here is a beautiful guide to how twitter works:
    http://momthisishowtwitterworks.com/

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 8:47 am | Permalink
  54. Jenn wrote:

    Let’s clarify something here. The word “force” in the legal sense does not mean force in the typical way. “Non-forcible Rape” is rape where the party legally considered raped was a willing participant, but legally unable to give consent. This would be a situations like statutory and incest. All other types of rape are actually “forcible rape” (and if your police dept or campus officers try to code it other wise you find a damn lawyer).

    Now, the bill in question actually caveats with an exception for minors and victims of incest thereby re-including statutory and incest.

    So basically this clause is pointless for all persons on either side of the fence.

    Those are the grounds by which you have it stricken from a republican bill. If they gave a shit about the women in the equation then the bill wouldn’t have been written in the first place.

    People like those behind this bill aren’t going to suddenly wake up and sympathize with rape victims. We need to find alternative tactics in *addition* to trying to give abortion a face.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink
  55. Liz wrote:

    How the heck is Sharia law being promoted by Republicans? I didn’t vote GOP to let Islam tell me how to live.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink
  56. Rachel wrote:

    Liz @ 55: I hope you’re joking, but on the off chance that you’re not, what the fuck? This is about misogyny, not religion.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  57. gogo wrote:

    Sady,

    This is a serious request because I am so out of it. Can you please do a tutorial post about how to start doing the twitter?

    I tried to get started during the moore&me thing & was unsuccessful. I have basic dopey questions. Does the twitter work through people’s phones or computers or both? Is it like sending a text? I have a super basic cell phone and I am not sure how the twitter will work with what I have.

    Thanks!

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink
  58. Garland wrote:

    @Gogo Twitter works on cell phones and your computer at home. You do not need the latest Shiny! Fast! Cellputer to tweet.

    When you send a tweet, it goes out to everyone who decides to follow you, but other people can see your tweets if they search for your name (mine is @garlandgrey, for instance, all twitter usernames start with @)

    By including “#DearJohn” anywhere in your message, your tweet will be included in the list of tweets everyone sees when they search #DearJohn. I will be on throughout the day and will help as many people I can get on Twitter and join the protest. At some point I’ll find a great Twitter Tutorial video for getting an account set up and post it, along with instructions. The “Mom this is how Twitter works” link someone posted is a good start, because I don’t care for the assumption that older ladies that raised children to adulthood can’t figure out how Twitter works, but also my own Mother (who taught herself computer programming in her 30′s while working fulltime and raising two kids) would probably have some words for me if I endorsed it.

    Most of those words would probably be about how much better she is at the Internet than me.

    Twitter isn’t the easiest thing to understand at first, but your voice needs to be heard. Feel free to post more questions in the comments, or tweet me directly by starting your message with “@garlandgrey.” If anyone else would like to help new users get started, we’d be ever grateful.

    Garland

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink
  59. Agnes wrote:

    I just called my congressman to say that I want him to vote against this act. Whooo!

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink
  60. a.b. wrote:

    And… blog posted. If I lose any readers writing about this, good riddance. How do these people sleep at night?

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
  61. Lu wrote:

    I’ve never tweeted anything but kooky private messages for my sister (my only follower) before, but I just did it for this. I guess if I attract hostile attention because of the hashtag, I’ll know why (and be proud)!

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink
  62. Toby wrote:

    Sady, where are you getting that 80-90 abortions per year covered under Medicaid number? I can’t find it in the article you linked nor in the one promising looking source from that page, and I’d like to be able to source it directly in arguments.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Permalink
  63. gogo wrote:

    Thanks GG! I have the twitter for mom site open. I will figure this out, by gum! (I have never birthed a child but I am the target for this tutorial on account of I have just REFUSED to join. Same goes for the facebook.)

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
  64. Magdalene wrote:

    Thank you Sady and Seth and everyone involved!

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink
  65. gogo wrote:

    “twitter is over capacity”

    No success for me thus far.

    I hope it’s cause so many people are messaging regarding this heinous bill.

    Power to the people, no delay!

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Permalink
  66. Alexis wrote:

    Thanks for this – it provided context for what is a horrific piece of potential legislation, and you articulated a lot of the anger and frustration I share but can’t express properly.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Permalink
  67. boats and birds wrote:

    i’ve been posting this all over facebook because i don’t have a twitter, but i second gogo about needing tutorial. and garland, i love what you said about assuming only moms suck at teh internetz… i’m 22, and can’t figure much of this ish out.

    let the shitstorm of righteous indignation commenceth!

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 2:36 am | Permalink
  68. Daphne B wrote:

    Source for the approx. 90 federally funded abortions per year: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/2008/01/28/or38.pdf , page 27.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 6:50 am | Permalink
  69. Krystyn wrote:

    Use this link to send a letter to your local rep and tell them to vote NO on this bill!

    http://www.ppaction.org/NoOnSmith

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink
  70. This issue is something that is extremely important to our ongoing struggle for women’s rights. At EMILY’s List, we know that over the past 26 years, our members have fought for the freedoms my generation enjoys today by helping to elect pro-choice Democratic women. We’re asking the GOP: what are your priorities? You spoke of an economic mandate, but your actions show a dedication to rolling back the rights of women.

    Join EMILY’s List in sending this message to Speaker Boehner: we will not stand for these attacks on women’s rights.

    Visit http://boehnersamerica.com today to join us.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink
  71. Doctress Julia wrote:

    Well. According to this, neither one of my rapes was rape.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink
  72. Heather Downs wrote:

    go get ‘em! Good luck from UK Feminista (Kent)

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
  73. Leslie Lanning wrote:

    This is an outrage. What has to happen for these men to understand what rape truly is. Do they have to know and love a rape victim for them to finally understand? Their wife, their child? God forbid.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink
  74. Helen Pigg wrote:

    Shame on Boehner. He has no feeling for a poor 13 year-old-girl, who has no way of protecting herself. For the sake of our country’s poor, he SHOULD GIVE UP HIS JOB! We’d be better off without him!

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink
  75. Thanks for putting this important issue right in that Monster’s face!
    It is completely unconscionable for this legislation to be introduced in the first place.
    Down with Boehner, he needs to resign and they go home and cry to his mommie!

    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 10:23 am | Permalink
  76. Ann Marwick wrote:

    John needs to read “Lucky” Alice Sebold’s memoir of her rape when she was a young student. It is the most horrendous stories I have ever read, really outlining the brutality of what rape is and what it does to a woman. John Boehner should not be in the business of writing bills that have anything to do with females. What does he know and how can he know? why have so many legislators signed on???

    Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Permalink
  77. Alisha Ritt wrote:

    You can bet that women united will be an unstoppable force for good!

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink