The most awful thing about the proposed bill, “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 3), is, well, the bill itself:
With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to “forcible rape.” This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion….
Given that the bill also would forbid the use of tax benefits to pay for abortions, that 13-year-old’s parents wouldn’t be allowed to use money from a tax-exempt health savings account (HSA) to pay for the procedure. They also wouldn’t be able to deduct the cost of the abortion or the cost of any insurance that paid for it as a medical expense.
In addition, the legislation would also cause small businesses that offer health insurance which covers abortion to lose their tax credits. I guess they weren’t really serious about that whole ‘rape, incest, and the life of the mother’ thing. Amanda Marcotte and Scott Lemieux offer more criticism of why this is awful policy. Marcotte, in particular, explains how this will effectively result in poor girls being forced to have their rapist’s child.
So what’s the second most awful thing about the Republican ‘Have Your Rapist’s Baby If You’re Poor’ Act?
We shouldn’t have to be fucking dealing with this. At all.
We are a nation beset with problems, and fixing those problems is going to require a lot of work. Now, the Republicans dump one more problem–once again, of their own making–onto the pandimensional clusterfuck that is our body politic.
The left, such as it is, will have to oppose this odious legislation because it’s awful. We shouldn’t be surprised by this either: after legitimizing torture, it’s pretty clear we fell off the moral arc of history a while ago. Meanwhile, our attention and energy will be diverted from economic issues.
I’m not arguing this is an unimportant ‘social’ issue: far from it. But we’ll have to work hard, and, when it’s all said and done, the best we can hope for is that we’re right back where we started. But our current political system, which apparently considers withholding funding for a raped child to get an abortion to be a legitimate point of view, does nothing to discourage this, and, in fact, rewards it. At some point, the professional Democratic class and their courtesan pundits will have to learn that if you’re not on the offensive, pushing ahead, then you’re on the defensive and losing ground.
Finally, two questions for all the rank-and-file Democrats who, if polls are to be believed, still want to compromise with these guys: what will it take to realize that there’s no middle ground here? What would be so awful, so odious that you would be unwilling to compromise?
Because, apparently, the forced childbirth by a raped girl isn’t enough.