Morning Roundup: Smith Will Modify Rape Definition in Horrible Bill

Chris Smith will remove the word “forcible” from his bad anti-abortion bill, NRTL says Medicaid doesn’t pay for the abortions of unbattered rape victims anyway, will contraceptives become free preventative medicine, don’t try to read RH Reality Check on a ferry in Canada, and the Senate does not repeal the health care law.

  • Politico reports that a spokesperson for Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) says he will modify the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” by removing the word “forcible” in regards to the rape exception in the bill. The bill is still awful, but at least that’s something. And keep in mind that in 2006, Medicaid paid for 85 abortions. Eighty-five. Let’s say those procedures cost the government $600 each. (Which is a very high estimate.) That is a cost of $51,000. Such a miniscule amount of money to the federal government, it is almost laughable.
  • The fact that Medicaid pays for so few abortions may be that the practice is already in place to deny a raped woman an abortion. Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life says that the word forcible may as well be in there, because

    while earlier anti-abortion policies did not distinguish between different kinds of rape, the reality is that the exemption was for years interpreted to only cover victims of forcible sexual assault. Now that Congress is working on a definitive package to replace the “patchwork” of abortion restrictions, Johnson said, “it is desirable to resolve ambiguities” with regard to the bill’s exemptions.

    Ambiguities, eh? Rape is rape, it’s not ambiguous.

  • Will the new health insurance law cover prescription contraceptives at no cost? A commission is looking at the issue now, trying to determine if birth control constitutes a “preventive health service.” Widely supported by organizations and professional organizations that work with women and families, it is, not surprisingly, opposed by right-wing “family” groups and Catholic organizations.
  • Taking a ferry across British Columbia? You may not be able to read! Sites that discuss sex education and abortion are banned from the ferry’s wi-fi, along with pornography, hate speech, and online streaming. (Please note, I don’t know for certain that you can’t read this site onboard the ferry. If you happen to be on the ship, do you mind checking for us?)
  • Senate Republicans were defeated in their attempt to repeal the health care bill last night, with a party-line vote. The vote took place as an amendment to a Federal Aviation Administration funding bill.

Feb 3

Feb 2

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  • beenthere72

    If the ferry wi-fi service works anything like my internet access at work, users may still be able to access this site, but not:



    Please tell me what that article says!?!


    And a must see, in case anybody missed it:

  • colleen

    Here’s the article.

    Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said the anti-choice House leadership’s decision to modify a provision that would redefine what constitutes rape will create even more problems for Speaker John Boehner and other anti-choice members supporting this agenda.

    Even as they attempted to modify this rape-related provision found in two pieces of legislation, H.R. 3 and H.R. 358, these lawmakers inserted a new provision on page six of H.R.358, sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), that would allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortion care when necessary to save a woman’s life.

    “Anti-choice politicians have gone from redefining rape to denying abortion care to women who will die without it,” Keenan said. “When it comes to attacking women’s freedom and privacy, these politicians know no bounds. This debate is just getting started. Any member of Congress who has signed his or her name to this agenda must be held accountable for such extreme attacks against women’s reproductive-health services.”



  • ldan

    <insert long string of swearing here>


    The rape definition was atrocious enough.


    The reaching into individual pockets to redefine tax-advantaged accounts as ‘federal money’ is ridiculous.


    And now telling hospitals they don’t have to save women’s lives? WTF?


    And how are we going to make this bite them in the ass at election time?

  • beenthere72

    Oh bloody hell.  Got to be f’g kidding me. 

  • prochoiceferret

    allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortion care when necessary to save a woman’s life.


    I guess some women will have to die to bring about the Culture of Life.

  • goatini

    Constitutional rights of US citizens don’t apply to us, as our uteri are the property of the State from menarche to menopause.  We are simply expendable containers.  


    The treatment standard for us when we are in extremis, is for a mythical Sky Daddy to perform a supernatural magic trick.  

  • freetobe

    against these mean dispicable boys? I mean can you imagine if it was a dem that did something like this against the righties. There would be hell to pay and we would never hear the end of it. What goes around comes around. I can’t wait for karma.