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29 January 2011 @ 06:46 am
Forcing more impoverished rape victims to give birth: a top Republican priority
The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Drugged, raped, and pregnant? Too bad. Republicans are pushing to limit rape and incest cases eligible for government abortion funding.

— By Nick Baumann

Fri Jan. 28, 2011 3:00 AM PST

Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law.

For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.) But the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress, contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases.

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. (Smith's spokesman did not respond to a call and an email requesting comment.)

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.

There used to be a quasi-truce between the pro- and anti-choice forces on the issue of federal funding for abortion. Since 1976, federal law has prohibited the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions except in the cases of rape, incest, and when the pregnancy endangers the life of the woman. But since last year, the anti-abortion side has become far more aggressive in challenging this compromise. They have been pushing to outlaw tax deductions for insurance plans that cover abortion, even if the abortion coverage is never used. The Smith bill represents a frontal attack on these long-standing exceptions.

"This bill takes us back to a time when just saying 'no' wasn't enough to qualify as rape," says Steph Sterling, a lawyer and senior adviser to the National Women's Law Center. Laurie Levenson, a former assistant US attorney and expert on criminal law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, notes that the new bill's authors are "using language that's not particularly clear, and some people are going to lose protection." Other types of rapes that would no longer be covered by the exemption include rapes in which the woman was drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol, rapes of women with limited mental capacity, and many date rapes. "There are a lot of aspects of rape that are not included," Levenson says.

As for the incest exception, the bill would only allow federally funded abortions if the woman is under 18.

The bill hasn't been carefully constructed, Levenson notes. The term "forcible rape" is not defined in the federal criminal code, and the bill's authors don't offer their own definition. In some states, there is no legal definition of "forcible rape," making it unclear whether any abortions would be covered by the rape exemption in those jurisdictions.

The main abortion-rights groups despise the Smith bill as a whole, but they are particularly outraged by its rape provisions. Tait Sye, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, calls the proposed changes "unacceptable." Donna Crane, the policy director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, says that making the "already narrow exceptions for public funding of abortion care for rape and incest survivors even more restrictive" is "unbelievably cruel and heartless."

"This bill goes far beyond current law," says Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), a co-chair of the congressional pro-choice caucus. The "re-definition" of the rape exception "is only one element" of an "extreme" bill, she adds, citing other provisions in the law that pro-abortion rights groups believe would lead to the end of private health insurance coverage for abortion.

"Somebody needs to look closely at this," Levenson says. "This is a bill that could have a dramatic effect on women, and language is important. It sure sounds like somebody didn't want [the exception to cover] all the different types of rape that are recognized under the law."

Nick Baumann covers national politics and civil liberties issues for
Mother Jones' DC Bureau. For more of his stories, http://www.motherjones.com/authors/nick-baumann You can also follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/NickBaumann Email tips and insights to nbaumann [at] motherjones [dot] com. Get Nick Baumann's RSS feed http://community.livejournal.com/rss/authors/1179

LINKED http://community.livejournal.com/ontd_political/7636676.html
SOURCE http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/republican-plan-redefine-rape-abortion
02 October 2010 @ 08:41 pm

Sarah Palin opposes abortion and comprehensive sex education. While mayor of Wasilla she made sexual assault victims pay for their own rape kits. She also calls herself a feminist. Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell has said that allowing women to attend military academies "cripples the readiness of our defense" and that wives should "graciously submit" to their husbands—but her website touts her "commitment to the women's movement." Pundits who once mocked women's rights activists as ugly bra burners are abuzz over the "new conservative feminism," and the Tea Party is lauding itself as a women's movement...

More in article @ Who Stole Feminism...

Current Mood: crushedcrushed
16 July 2010 @ 01:17 pm
 I made an appointment at Planned Parenthood to take Mifepristone. I'm going in on Tuesday for the consultation/exam/pill. I've been reading up on it a lot, and it seems like people have had mixed side effects. Some had intense cramping and pain, while others experienced very little.

Has anyone here taken Mifepristone? What is your experience with it? Do you recommend it over a surgical abortion?
24 April 2010 @ 12:44 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry vetoed two abortion bills Friday that he said are an unconstitutional attempt by the Legislature to insert government into the private lives and decisions of citizens.

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"The patient has no autonomy to make a decision. And the physician has no discretion," Toti said.

Henry did sign one abortion bill into law Friday: one requiring abortion clinics to post signs stating it is against the law for anyone to force a woman to have an abortion, and that an abortion will not be performed until the woman gives her voluntary consent.

Earlier this month, Henry signed three other abortion-related bills, including a ban on abortions based on the gender of the child and tighter restrictions on the use of the RU-486 abortion pill.

At least two other abortion measures are pending in the Oklahoma Legislature including one that would require pregnant women to complete a lengthy questionnaire before receiving an abortion.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Senate approved several bills Monday that opponents say would make it more difficult or uncomfortable for women to get abortions, including one that would require women seeking the procedures early in their pregnancies to undergo an invasive form of ultrasound.

The five bills, some of which will go to Gov. Brad Henry for consideration and others which will return to the House, were overwhelmingly approved by the Republican-controlled Senate. If given final approval, the bills would give Oklahoma some of the most restrictive laws of any state, an abortion rights group says.

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I posted this to my personal journal, and I thought folks on this comm would be interested in this book as well:

My friend lent this to me on Saturday, and by the end of Sunday I was done. It's fast and it's gripping. Susan Wicklund, her career path shaped by a terrible abortion experience in 1976, began medical school in 1980 as a single mom, and eventually became an abortion provider. She traveled around the northern Midwest, the target of protesters, harassment, death threats, etc. They barricaded her driveway; they terrorized her daughter; they would lie in wait for her at airports and outside clinics.

Through all this shines Wicklund's obvious love for her work and for her patients. Having been subjected to an abortion where the doctors and nurses treated her like a piece of meat (she regrets the circumstances but not the abortion itself), she was always careful to include patients in their procedures, to make sure they absolutely wanted the abortion and were making a free choice, and that they knew what was happening at all times. She sounds like the gold standard of patient care, and I hope and wish that all providers treat their patients the way she does.

Abortion is a big issue at the moment (as if it ever stopped being one), and it seems clear to me that there's a long fight ahead to keep abortion legal. In many parts of the US it is extremely difficult to obtain one between the lack of providers and the various legal rigmaroles, and even in liberal Massachusetts, where the clinics have 30-foot safe zones around their entrances, parental notification laws are still in effect.

This was an excellent book for the human face of abortion--the providers, the patients, Wicklund's love and care even at the expense of nurturing her own family. It was clear that although she regrets not being there for her daughter and husband (who she married after graduating from medical school), if there hadn't been such a dearth of providers she wouldn't have had to work so much. And the reason for that is obvious--the extreme tactics of the antis, many of whom are dangerous extremists willing to murder people for their beliefs. Only a very strong, courageous person could be an abortion provider in this day and age.
07 November 2009 @ 06:16 am
Anti-abortion Democrats get chance to amend health care proposal @ CNN.com

Some highlights:

Anti-abortion Democrats will be allowed to offer an amendment during the House health care debate Saturday that would ban most abortion coverage from the public option and other insurance providers in the new so-called "exchange" the legislation would create, three Democratic sources told CNN.

The hotly anticipated vote on the nearly $1.1 trillion bill by the full House of Representatives is tentatively set for Saturday, but it could be delayed until Sunday. President Obama is expected to visit Capitol Hill on Saturday in hopes of gaining support among Democrats.

The Democratic sources said people would be able to purchase riders with their own money for insurance that includes abortion coverage.

"This amendment would violate the spirit of health care reform, which is meant to guarantee quality, affordable health care coverage for all by creating a two-tiered system that would punish women, particularly those with low and modest incomes," the group said in a statement.
Michigan state Representative Jim Slezak (Dem., Davison Township), has decided to start tilting at windmills in his very first term in office—if by "windmills" you mean women's wombs. Slezak has proposed an amendment to the state constitution that would functionally make abortion illegal in Michigan. Slezak's amendment asserts that every person has a right to life with personhood defined as beginning at conception.

For more see: http://sf.carnalnation.com/content/36187/10/representative-introduces-law-ban-abortion-michigan
Current Mood: angryangry
15 October 2009 @ 11:08 am
Hello everyone!
I am a young feminist who is just starting up a feminist blog that I hope to spread around and go pretty far with! I encourage everyone to hopefully check it out and also send me any advice, comments, complaints, etc!
Have an awesome day and soon to be weekend!