Oh, hey, everybody! Remember how we were all upset about that “you only get an abortion if we decide you were really raped” language in H.R.3? And then we were all, “no, stop that, lawmakers, take that clause out right now,” and lawmakers were all, “okay, we will, stop yelling at us, GAH.” Remember that? Well, good news:
(A) They are voting on that bill really, really soon, and It just passed the House, and
(B) They didn’t actually take all of that stuff out.
The committee report for H.R. 3 says that the bill will “not allow the Federal Government to subsidize abortions in cases of statutory rape.” The bill itself doesn’t say anything like that, but if a court decides that legislators intended to exclude statutory rape-related abortions from eligibility for Medicaid funding, then that will be the effect.
(Also, please excuse Mother-Jonesy language about “House Republicans.” Because, yes! Republicans are very ideologically misguided! I believe you wholeheartedly! But also, factually, WE KNOW THERE ARE DEMOCRATS WHO SUPPORT THIS BILL AS WELL? I get the need for concise language. But also, we run the risk of just partisan stirrin’-up-the-masses stuff when we say “House Republicans” when what we mean is, “House Republicans, who are mostly dudes, and also one or two super-extreme Republican ladies, but also Democrats who are dudes as well, so basically: House Dudes.”)
(Also, yes, I KNOW, it is not only ladies who need to get abortions. This is another area of linguistic imprecision and smoothing out the facts on the ground in order to COMMUNICATE A MESSAGE, which actually under-serves the actual message. And another instance in which the truth is, “probably in the minds of most of these anti-choice people, only women will be affected by this, because they seem not so well-educated on the complexities of gender, so the effect is to oppress all women — at least on the level of symbol and ideology, which is a damn important level — by legally defining women as second-class citizens unworthy of medical care or bodily autonomy. But also, in practice, it results in both symbolic AND practical, potentially lethal oppression for anyone with the anatomy we culturally have designated ‘female,’ so, like, many trans men, non-binary people, and so on, and so forth, basically if you are not a rich cis guy, you are in trouble right now, for real.”)
But, to re-iterate! Basically, here is my understanding of how this works: They take objectionable language that presumes to define “real” versus “unreal” rapes, and they remove it from the bill. They wait until someone has to have a court fight over how the bill applies to their needed abortion. At that point, we look at the committee reports. We read that sentence. And if you were molested, whoops! No abortion for YOU, molested person! We have looked that all the rapes that are possible to be raped, and we have decided that being SEXUALLY ASSAULTED AND IMPREGNATED BY AN ADULT PERSON, AS A CHILD is very definitely not a rape that counts!
Because, you know, the children. This is why we pass anti-abortion bills. Because we care about the children. Clearly.
And now, a depressing video.
THEY’RE COMING FOR ROE
On the chopping block in Congress:
-Insurance coverage for abortions
-Life-saving care for women in all hospitals
-Abortion coverage for rape victims
Think that’s as far as anti-choice lawmakers will go?
[TV turns on]
Rep. Steve King (R-IA): We will see the end of Roe v Wade in our time!
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN): Sadly, abortion on demand is legal in America.
Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA): Abortion is not health care.
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN): Future generations will place Roe vs Wade alongside the terrible Dred Scott decision.
Rep. John Fleming (R-LA): I’ve seen people get more upset about a dying pet than they have in giving up their pregnancy.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ): New evidence has uncovered a clear link between abortion and mental illness in women.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN): I long for the day that Roe vs Wade is sent to the scrapheap of history.
Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN): And demagoguing language about some kind of war on women is nothing but laughable.
Anti-choice lawmakers are on the warpath. And they’re coming for you.
Legislation is being introduced right now that is: anti-woman, anti-child, anti-health.
Stop these bills from setting women’s rights back a lifetime.
Take action today at http://ahugestepback.com.