Amongst the crushing unemployment, the growing national debt, the worn out infrastructures, the sinking reputation of the US on the world arena, our newly elected Republicans have identified the most urgent issue to resolve: public funding for abortions for victims of rape and incest. Republicans are seeking to redefine rape in a way that will deny access to abortion to the mentally disabled, children, or those who were raped while drugged, coerced, or unconscious.
This is not all, however. This is everything that the bill H.R.3 that Speaker John Boehner refers to as "the highest legislative priority" will achieve:
- HR3 makes permanent the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds for a legal medical procedure. As it stands, Hyde must be renewed each year.
- HR3 strong arms private insurance companies into removing coverage for abortions by instituting an anti-choice litmus test to discriminate against companies and programs that cover them.
- HR3 will make it harder for rape victims to seek justice, by creating a hierarchy of rape that is based on the worst elements of rape culture. HR3 is based on the idea that “good” people are only raped by strangers and “good” people are the only ones deserving of medical care.
- HR3 disempowers survivors economically, financially, legally, and socially. Under Hr3 a person who is drugged, raped, and forcibly impregnated could be left to withstand the ordeal of a rape trial while pregnant, going into the courtroom each day and facing their attacker, without the money or the resources to stop it.
- Rapists already thrive on power. Rapists already want to control their victims, want them to get and stay pregnant as a constant reminder of the attack or out of a need for control. It is unconscionable that elected politicians are empowering rapists and using the lives of survivors to prove their anti-choice credentials.
- The opening of the bill mentions that it provides “conscience protections” against tax dollars being spent on abortion. If your conscience tells you that abortion should be free, safe, and legal, it apparently isn’t worthy of protection. Every single person who co-sponsored this bill has sided with people who want to control other people’s bodies and call it morality.
But that's not all. This bill reinforces a philosophy of rape acceptance:
It’s not just about abortion; it is passing rape apologism and rape culture into law. We’re all familiar with the attitude that rape only “really” counts if someone jumps out of the bushes with a weapon and physically tortures, beats, or maims you in addition to raping you; that’s a big part of what this clause is about. This sets a terrifying precedent that takes us back to the days when the law wouldn’t define your rape as a rape unless you’d demonstrated “utmost resistance,” meaning that you’d risked your life to get into a physical fight with someone who already wanted to rape you, and wouldn’t have a problem with hurting you really, really severely to get that done. We cannot let this stand. It’s not something on which there can be any compromise, ever, at any time.
People, this is an atrocity. We can't let such a cannibalistic piece of legislation pass and still consider ourselves a civilized country.
What can we do to fight this?
- Join the #DearJohn Twitter campaign to draw attention to the issue right to Speaker of the House John B. The more tweets, the harder to ignore. Write to @johnboehner and add #DearJohn as the tag. (To my International Readers: If you want to stand with us, please add your voice to the Twitter campaign.) More info on this here: How to join the DearJohn campaign.
- Contact your Representatives.
Clicking on the following image will take you to a state directory to find your representative:
A personal email or call may be more effective than a chain petition. That being said, don't hesitate to sign the following ...
- MoveOn.org Petition against the bill that will "redefine rape and set women's rights back by decades."
Thank you, Natalie, at Flaneur in the City, for organizing and publicizing this information so well!