– Redefinition Of Rape: The bill sponsor Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) faced serious backlash after he tried to narrow the definition rape to “forcible rape.” By narrowing the rape and incest exception in the Hyde Amendment, Smith sought to prevent the following situations from consideration: Women who say no but do not physically fight off the perpetrator, women who are drugged or verbally threatened and raped, and minors impregnated by adults.
Smith promised to remove the language and while it is not technically in the bill, Mother Jones reports that House Republicans used “a sly legislative maneuver” to insert a “backdoor reintroduction” of redefinition language. Essentially, if the bill is challenged in court, judges will look at the congressional committee report to determine intent. The committee report for H.R. 3 says the bill will “not allow the Federal Government to subsidize abortions in cases of statutory rape” — thus excluding statutory rape-related abortions from Medicaid coverage.
– Tax Increase On Women And Small Businesses: H.R. 3 prevents women from using “itemized medical deductions, certain tax-advantaged health care accounts or tax credits included in last year’s health care law to pay for abortions or for health insurance plans that cover abortion.” In doing so, the bill forces women and small businesses that provide health insurance that covers abortion to pay more in taxes than they would otherwise. Both economic conservative Grover Norquist and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce noted that the bill is basically a tax increase.
– Rape Audits: Because H.R. 3 bans using tax credits or deductions to pay for abortions or insurance, a woman who used such a benefit would have to prove, if audited, that her abortion “fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortions.” Essentially, the bill turns Internal Revenue Service agents into “abortion cops” who would force women to give “contemporaneous written documentation” that it was “incest, or rape, or [her] life was in danger” that compelled an abortion.
– Bans D.C.-Funded Abortions: The most recent spending resolution contained a ban on abortions in the District of Columbia by redefining the D.C. local government as the federal government. Thus, health clinics in D.C. are banned from using public funds from D.C. taxpayers to provide abortion services. H.R. 3 “would enshrine the District ban into federal law.” According to the Office of Management and Budget office, such a restriction violates “home rule.”
And as vile as this bill is, the fact that all 235 Republicans voted yes for it isn't the worst part.
It's the fact that sixteen Democrats voted for this monstrosity.
Jason Altmire, Dan Boren, Jerry Costello, Mark Critz, Henry Cuellar, Joe Donnelly, Tim Holden, Dale Kildee, Daniel Lipinski, Jim Matheson, Mike McIntyre, Collin Peterson, Nick Rahall, Mike Ross, and of course, Heath F'ckin Shuler (who is quickly becoming my new Evan F'ckin Bayh chew toy.)
But that's just 15. Number 16 on that list? Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, representing Toledo. A Democratic female House Representative voting for the most misogynistic bill in recent memory. Kaptur's been solid as hell on Wall Street issues, sponsoring legislation that would have reinstated Glass-Stegall and she's been relentless on her support of real financial reform, railing against the Wall Street fat cats.
Which makes it all the more angering to see her then throw thousands of her own female constituents under the bus with this terrible, terrible vote.
Welcome to the Blue Dog list, Marcy. Hell, this is way beyond Blue Dog, this is straight Republican territory. Any of my Toledo readers know of anyone who can run against her, let me know.