Mike the Mad Biologist

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.

Comments

  1. #1 greatbear
    January 31, 2011

    Since many, if not most, 13-year-old victims of statutory rape were molested by a family member, maybe we should call the GOP the Pro-Incest party.

  2. #2 D. C. Sessions
    January 31, 2011

    Let me guess: the claimant can’t just write “forcible rape” on her petition for services, she has to have a court ruling that it was “forcible rape.” Presumably after the rapist is convicted.

    Which, as it happens, takes more than nine months even in the cases where the woman has the remarkable presence of mind to immediately (do not pass go, do not waste a precious second) go to a facility which is equipped for forensic rape examinations and pay for the rape kit, assuming that they have any (funding has been cut, you know.)

    Best I can tell, this restricts abortion to those cases where the victim is found first by a police officer bound and bleeding from multiple injuries and the hospital actually does the forensic exam in ICU.

  3. #3 JayZ
    January 31, 2011

    Since 15% of all abortions in the US are paid for by the government, either state, local or federal and only 1% of abortions performed are because of rape or incest, we seem to be paying for alot more abortions than we should be.

  4. #4 tawaen
    January 31, 2011

    JayZ @ 3, Can you tell me where you got the number for the % of federally funded abortions? I couldn’t find it with a quick Google.

  5. #5 lynxreign
    January 31, 2011

    @3 JayZ

    Wrong. We should have Universal Health Care and they should ALL be paid for through insurance.

  6. #6 Juice
    January 31, 2011

    If we had universal abortion, eventually we wouldn’t have any of these problems.

  7. #7 Laurent Weppe
    February 1, 2011

    Since many, if not most, 13-year-old victims of statutory rape were molested by a family member, maybe we should call the GOP the Pro-Incest party.

    I’m waiting for the impassionned speech about the “the outrageous and anti-christian views on family shared by those despicable secretly bolshevik liberals which causes so much pain to the suffering, discriminited against, poor poor poor minority of wealthy pedophile rapist with an incest festish who could have the freedom to produce their own sex toys by raping their domestics and who might, because of the law that allow said domestics to abort, end up molesting their precious legitimate heirs”.

  8. #8 kermit
    February 1, 2011

    I agree, JayZ. If the government provided decent birth control information and materials free of charge to all females, especially minors, we could avoid the economic, medical, social, and psychological costs of many abortions. I’m glad to hear you’re with me on this issue.

  9. #9 Fruitcake 351
    February 1, 2011

    As a taxpayer and as a hater of infanticide, I refuse to pay for a woman to kill her unborn baby. It’s just wrong fo me to have to pay for that. I don;t want her blood on my hands.

    Besides, you people have the blood of over 53 million babies on your hands thanks to the selfish asshole judge (his daughter was pregnant at the time)in Roe v. Wade (now she is pro-life and only Fox News has covered that fact).

    Think about it. 53 million babies dead becuase of leftwing man hating nutjobs. Maybe all 53 millions will grow up in the spirit world and come back to haunt you all.

    I would hate to be in your shoes when you answer to God for your infaticide one day. China will be right behind you.

    baby killers.

  10. #10 Fruitcake 351
    February 1, 2011

    We only have one abortuary left in our state and luckily we are on the edge of getting rid of it too.

    As far as incest and rape goes, the situation can be confusing to the woman carrying the “mass of cells” within her. In such a situation as this I would stay out of it and let the decision to execute the lump of cells with a pulse, or keep it. Same goes for a pregnancy with dangerous complications to the host (not mother since there is no child – only a lump of cells,).

    However, if a young girl gets preganant becuase of her immorality, then absolutely no abortion. She has to live with the consequences of her actions. There is nothing wrong with saying “NO!” to sex before marriage. As a matter of fact, doing this would wipe out sexually transmitted diseases altogether. It should have been in the mandated healthcare law.

    Even if you were to hand out rubbers to teenagers, you still have the morality side of the debate to deal with. It’s called adultery. Teaching kids safe sex may be okay for pre-marriage couples but for teenagers this is just national suicide. Immorality cannot be tolerated. Adultery cannot and must not be tolerated. Infanticide cannot be tolerated.

  11. #11 Jay
    February 1, 2011

    @Fruitcake351, unfortunately you are oversimplifying matters.

    First off, abortion is not as simple of an issue as you would portray it. There is, in fact, a legitimate ethical and legal debate as to when exactly the transition from “mass of cells” to “legal person” occurs. So when you decree all abortion to be infanticide and use words like “abortuary” and “immorality”, you have already indicated that you aren’t having a mature discussion about it.

    Second, just because you pay taxes does not inherently give you a say in how each penny of that money is spent. Yes, of course, no taxation without representation. I would rather not have to admit that 51% of my federal taxes were spent on wars of choice in countries that hate us. It would be nice if that ever ended, but even then I am sure there would be plenty of areas of government spending for each of us to be upset about; I’m sure that plenty of people in Florida wish they didn’t help subsidize interstate highways in Alaska and Maine.

    Nonetheless, the real issue with this law is that it is overreaching. It might be acceptable or even a meaningful compromise for a law to be passed preventing Medicaid from covering elective abortions. But that is not what we are looking at. The wording of this law would end ALL benefits that touch any aspect of abortion. So that personally, I would experience an increase in my income taxes, because my employer-sponsored health care plan (which I actually opt out of) covers abortions. It would mean that any woman who wanted a morning-after-pill after being raped using Rohypnol or any 12 year old who was raped in a nonviolent way would have to pay out of pocket. It would mean that the removal of an anencephalic (braindead) fetus would require out-of-pocket payment, or miles of paperwork, on top of the ordinary emotional trauma. Does that really fit in with your concept of pro-life?

    Even if we were to concede that your personal morals could somehow be imposed on at least the government, this bill still would go too far. We do not live in the moralistically Sharia-like state that you seem to envision, and I’m thankful of it.

    Incidentally, to be clear, I am in agreement with you (although with far less pith) as to the moral aspect of abortion. But again, the government is not run on personal morality, nor should it be.

  12. #12 Fruitcake 351
    February 1, 2011

    Jay

    “fetus” is the medical or scientific term. BABY is what non medical and non scientific people usually call what is inside a pregnant woman. It is human if is has a pulse. End of story. Life begins at conception where the soul is given. You cannot change that.

    Morality will win out in the end. This world is temporary and God will judge it one day wether you like it or not and your government will cease to exist as we know it now.

    Sharia? hardly. Biblcial? yes.

    A 12 year old being raped and having to deal with this issue is unfortunate. In that case, the decision lies with the 12 year old and her parents. However, if the 12 year willfully committed to a sexual act and got pregnant, I do not think it is justifiable to kill her baby becuase of her uncomfort in life. Sins have penalties. Mistakes have consequences. There is no escape. If she does decide to go to an abortuary and have brains of her child sucked out (and it feels pain) then not only does she have the sin of adultery on her, but now has murder as well. Is living with guilt over executing an unborn baby worth it all?

  13. #13 Wow
    February 2, 2011

    > It is human if is has a pulse. End of story.

    Monkeys have a pulse.

    Therefore you ARE descended from monkeys!

    > Life begins at conception where the soul is given. You cannot change that.

    So where’s the receipt? I’m afraid you need to

    a) show that a soul exists

    b) that a soul is given at conception

    c) that every fertilised egg is given a soul

    What about normal conception not taken to term? Very common and completely natural. Does this mean god is killing babies and destroying souls?!?!?!!

    What about Chimeric births? Where there are two (or more) eggs fused into one body. Do they have two (or more) souls because the eggs each were fertilised and the results exist in the one body?

    Given the soul isn’t given out until conception, whats the big hate-on for throwing away your seed? It’s not like Eve who has every child of the entire human race who ever or will ever live within her (which makes menstruation mass murder, since eggs are lost in this, another of God’s sins). So why the prohibition to throwing one out there?

  14. #14 Wow
    February 2, 2011

    “Yes, of course, no taxation without representation.”

    Unless you are working under a Visa in the USA.

    Didn’t you all rail against that at one time being forced on you?

    “As a taxpayer and as a hater of infanticide, I refuse to pay for a woman to kill her unborn baby. ”

    How about the women who are taxpayers and want abortions? They pay taxes too.

    And given your righteous anger against killing, I guess you refuse to pay taxes for the armed forces who killed children in Iraq recently?

  15. #15 Laurent Weppe
    February 2, 2011

    Fruitcake 351:

    Because nothing shows one’s moral superiority better than hidding one’s indifference toward rape victims by faking sadness toward fictionnal babies.

  16. #16 Katharine
    February 2, 2011

    I call Poe on Fruitcake.

    If not, what an apt username.

  17. #17 Katharine
    February 2, 2011

    Hmm, let’s review our embryology.

    At the time most aborted womb-boogers (collective term for feti and embryos – and it’s a FETUS or an EMBRYO. It’s not a baby until it’s born, or if one wants to be generous, until it can survive outside the uterus) are aborted, they are at 8 weeks or before.

    Before 8 weeks, these things happen (from Wikipedia):

    Week 1–3
    5–7 days after fertilization, the blastula attaches to the wall of the uterus (endometrium). When it comes into contact with the endometrium it performs implantation. Implantation connections between the mother and the embryo will begin to form, including the umbilical cord. The embryo’s growth centers around an axis, which will become the spine and spinal cord. The brain, spinal cord, heart, and gastrointestinal tract begin to form.

    Week 4–5
    Chemicals produced by the embryo stop the woman’s menstrual cycle. Neurogenesis is underway, showing brain activity at about the 6th week. “The heart will begin to beat around the same time. Limb buds appear where the arms and legs will grow later. Organogenesis begins. The head represents about one half of the embryo’s axial length, and more than half of the embryo’s mass. The brain develops into five areas. Tissue formation occurs that develops into the vertebra and some other bones. The heart starts to beat and blood starts to flow.

    Week 6–8
    Myogenesis and neurogenesis have progressed to where the embryo is capable of motion, and the eyes begin to form. Organogenesis and growth continue. Hair has started to form along with all essential organs. Facial features are beginning to develop. At the end of the 8th week, the embryonic stage is over, and the fetal stage begins.

    Basically, until 7 days post-fertilization, the thing is biologically equivalent to a sponge. It is a blastula, which is a ball of undifferentiated stem cells. If you have problems with aborting this, you are an idiot.

    The heartbeat does not appear until week 4.

    Brain activity does not happen until week 6.

    Now, granted, it gets a little more ethically complex after that, but if the damn thing can’t survive outside a woman’s body at that point I think it is a perfectly reasonable thing to do to kill it if you don’t want it.

    Also, Fruitcake, your imaginary friend doesn’t exist.

    Conservative Christians suck Ebola dick.

  18. #18 Katharine
    February 2, 2011

    And Fruitcake thinks abortion is anti-man? That’s really funny. Men aren’t the ones who get saddled with pregnancies.

    What the fuck is the deal with religious people and the worship of masculinity and putting half of the human race on a pedestal and pissing on the other half? We’re all equals, for goodness’s sake.

    Oh, right. Fruitcake the fruitcake has a big angry imaginary friend who if they existed would be an idiot with the emotional maturity of a 3-year-old.

  19. #19 Katharine
    February 2, 2011

    Seriously, why can’t we deliver a half-burnt bible to each sponsor of this bill?

  20. #20 Miles
    February 2, 2011

    Thank you Katharine for beating back the fruitcakes. Even if they’re Poes, the similarities are saddening.

    I wonder how anyone with any sense can find any redeeming qualities in religion whatsoever. Reason, evidence, and love are just so much more comforting.

  21. #21 Always Curious
    February 2, 2011

    I hate to break it to you Fruitcake351, but legal or not, abortions happen. And if not abortions, than infanticide (they are not the same; saying they are is intentionally inflammatory and incorrect). So would it be better to stop a life at 6 months before birth or 6 days after?

    As a taxpayer, I object to forcibly paying for others’ children and doubly so if they didn’t want them in the first place. I triply object if the result is substandard health care for a child born to a family (does a single mom count as a family?) not properly ready to have one. I will have to foot that bill too, in the form of higher premiums to cover said child’s emergency care. Honestly, the government needs to start solving the trillion dollar questions (Social Security, Medicare, Fannie & Freddie) first; and come back to the million dollar questions (abortion) later.

    I’d also like to dispute your moralist claims about abstinence, STDs, and sex. As it turns out, teens have sex regardless of how you educate them; but comprehensive sex education does reduce pregnancy rates. Abstinence will never solve an STD epidemic (except maybe in your head) and none of this has anything to do with the legal/moral issues surrounding rape–the original topic. Framing the discussion entirely around the potential baby is dishonest and short-sighted.

    Each reference has several other high quality references with similar findings regarding abstinence/pregnancy/STDs:

    Abstinence-only education fails to prevent sex & pregnancy:
    http://www.planetwire.org/files.fcgi/7689_Ab_Only_Ed_Kohler_.pdf

    Abstinence-only fails to stop STDs:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/3/abstinent-teens-test-positive-stds/
    (referencing: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/peds.2009-0892v1 )

    @WOW (#14) Love your list, but you forgot about identical twins, 1 fertilized egg becoming two separate people, who may or may each not have a soul, half a soul, or no soul. Who knows?

  22. #22 Fruitcake 351
    February 2, 2011

    @ katherine

    I remember you and taht vile Janin from the poll fornication site pharyngula. You probably remember me as rumpleforeskin. The bearded marxist poll fornicator (there are many on “science” blogs), pz myers banned me. Oh well. I still unfornicate his fornication of polls. I still go to the pollsters and warn them that mindless turds are violating their polls. I have turned a few of them around. It took me months to turn the one evolution poll back to normal, but I did it and now warnings are in place on that sight that warns people that the far left hate site pharyngula is busting polls becuase they have fetish for right wingers’ paperwork and opionions.

    Remind me to send you a half burned copy of the origin of species. The other half I fornicated on.

    Give my regards to she wolf janine.

    Oh, men and women are created equal, but have different roles. Get over it.

  23. #23 tamakazura
    March 14, 2011

    Dear fruitcake,
    I realize you don’t want to pay for women to kill their babies. I would not like to pay for the likes of Hosni Mubarak, or to fight in Afghanistan. I think it’s wrong to subsidize the murder of actual people with feelings and experiences and thoughts by supporting various military juntas around the world as we do.
    I would not like to pay for Israel to arm itself. I think by now they can afford that, especially if they want to go around starting stuff. I wouldn’t like to pay Scott Walker’s salary. I would not like to pay most of Congress’ salary given they seem to spend most of their time jerking off. I would not like to pay for big corn or big oil. I’d not like to pay to bail out the banks, and if I had a choice, I would not be invested by proxy in General Motors.
    Guess what?
    I don’t get a choice, and I don’t hear anyone taking my complaints terribly seriously.
    So unless you are so for this freedom to choose that you’d like to support giving me a choice where *my* tax money goes, I’ll have much sympathy for your position.