Dear Chris Smith, Your bill still sucks.

Chris Smith’s “No Taxpayer for Abortion” Act seeks to limit women’s choices by ridding federal funding for women to have an abortion in cases of rape and incest.  Initially, the bill’s language sought to redefine rape to fit his opinion of what constitutes rape.  You see, rape is only rape if it involves physical force.  Let me first make one thing very clear, since apparently we are still fighting over maintaining what rights we have over our own bodies. It is utterly disgusting to blame or punish a rape victim, whether one considers it “forcible” rape or not. Limiting rape to “forcible rape” completely excludes cases where a woman is drugged.  Smith, last time I checked, I believe that rape is what happens when a sexual encounter is non-consensual.  Since you apparently do not know what non-consensual means, let me give you a guideline for interpretation: only “yes” means yes…period, and if a woman is incapable of expressing this consent, then it is non-consensual.

This limitation and redefinition would also mean that some cases of statutory rape, most of which that are not “forcible”, are not eligible for assisted funding of an abortion.  Basically, if a 15-year old teenage girl is impregnated by a 32-year old male, she would no longer qualify.  Also, if a woman of limited mental capabilities is raped, because she is unable to consent, it doesn’t count as “forcible rape”.  Get this, in cases of incest, the woman would only be allowed funding if she’s under the age of 18.  So, if you’re a freshman in college who is raped by your perverted uncle, you can either cough up the money for an abortion or quit school and raise a baby that you had no choice in creating.  This is completely unacceptable, and is a slap in the face to women in general, especially rape victims.  Can you imagine someone you care for being raped, and someone telling them that since they weren’t beaten, they are responsible for dealing with the financial aftermath?

These rape provisions are outrageous.  This is just as much as a violent act on women as rape itself.  It has sparked the hashtag #dearjohn on Twitter, which has become quite popular.  Also, you can go to <a href=””></a> to support the petition against this bill. There is also another <a href=””>petition</a> against Speaker of the House John Boehner and his attempts to take away women’s rights. After the fallout Smith and the House GOP has retreated deciding to remove the word “forcible” and keep the original language.  How gracious of you all. 

This issue should have been settled decades ago, but it seems that this war will simply not end.  I urge anyone (male or female) to take the few minutes to voice your opinion on the links provided.  This could personally affect you or someone you care for, and it is disgraceful.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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