The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

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The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby podbaydoor » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:51 pm UTC

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/01 ... e-abortion

GRAAH RAGE RAGE GNASH GNASH

(possible trigger warning)
Spoiler:
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 [1]," 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 [2], 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 [3], 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 [4], 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 [2].

"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."


Links: (these were included with the article)
[1] http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3/text
[2] http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/12/end ... -insurance
[3] http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscod ... _10_I.html
[4] http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/12 ... parenthood


TL;DR: The House GOP has introduced a bill which redefines the definition of "rape" with respect to federally funded abortions. The government will only help out with "forcible rape." (Government help includes Medicaid, tax exemptions/tax benefits, and tax deductions.)

Choice quotes (again spoilered for possible trigger):
Spoiler:
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 [2], 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.

[...]

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.


I have to question how many of those 173 Republicans are women or have had any actual personal experience with abortion or rape (throwing your daughter out of your house doesn't count).
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:55 pm UTC

What the shit? How on earth can this be proposed with anyone's best interests in mind?
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby broken_escalator » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:56 pm UTC

Why would anyone try to reduce government help for rape victims? I mean seriously, what light does this look good in.

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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Nordic Einar » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:01 pm UTC

While reprehensible, there at least is some small comfort knowing this is a largely symbolic bill. Even if got enough votes to clear both Houses (highly unlikely), it certainly won't survive Presidential Veto.

Absolutely fucking disgusting.

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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Thesh » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:01 pm UTC

What the hell is wrong with them? Who exactly are they trying to appeal to with this bill? It can't do anything to help them politically (unless they are focusing entirely on getting the votes of batshit conservatives, which are a minority), and I don't see how it could actually do any good otherwise.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Triangle_Man » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:04 pm UTC

Basically, I have less of a problem with the Republican's viewpoints and more of a problem with the absolutely sleazy way they are trying to put those viewpoints into law. It's like they've completely given up on the democratic process and are just trying to get their ideology into office using every underhanded tactic imaginable.

God I hate politicians some days...
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Thesh » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:06 pm UTC

Triangle_Man wrote:Basically, I have less of a problem with the Republican's viewpoints and more of a problem with the absolutely sleazy way they are trying to put those viewpoints into law. It's like they've completely given up on the democratic process and are just trying to get their ideology into office using every underhanded tactic imaginable.

God I hate politicians some days...


That's nothing new, nor is it anything limited to Republicans. Most of congress is guilty of it.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby podbaydoor » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:07 pm UTC

I do enjoy how John Boehner has called this bill a "top priority." Top priority of what? Top priority for saying to women "Neener neener neener you weren't reeeeaaaally raped, so there! Hah!"
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby broken_escalator » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:17 pm UTC

Yeah that'll show those women that get their drinks laced with GHB and stuff. Shouldn't be drinking things around men!

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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Triangle_Man » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:24 pm UTC

Shouldn't they be making fixing the economy their top priority? I mean, if Obama the Socialist Nazi is driving it into the ground as they say he is, this little side venture/slap in the face to woman everywhere is hardly worth there time and attention.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby broken_escalator » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:37 pm UTC

Obviously giving rape victims help with abortions is what ruined the economy

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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby DSenette » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:39 pm UTC

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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:44 pm UTC

Article wrote:Rape is only really rape if it involves force.

False. Differentiating between types of rape is not the same as redefining rape. No one is saying that statutory rape isn't "real rape." The law differentiates between types of rape, while still considering all of these types of rape rape. Saying "You have Type II Diabetes" is in no way saying you don't have "Real Diabetes."
There used to be a quasi-truce between the pro- and anti-choice forces on the issue of federal funding for abortion.

Untrue. Both sides have been firing shots across the bow for years. See FOCA, or any number of other proposed bills which propagate this perpetual tug-of-war.
"This bill takes us back to a time when just saying 'no' wasn't enough to qualify as rape," says Steph Sterling,

Utter Bullshit. Again, saying you were the victim of date-rape in no way suggests you weren't raped. This bill deals only with the direction of federal funds.
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No fucking shit! That was an absurd article, with extreme bias and inflammatory rhetoric. As was mentioned, this bill has no chance of passing, and is nothing more than political posturing in an attempt to stop taxpayer funding of certain abortions, but this article posed the issue as if it directly attacked the validity of rape victims claims. It did nothing of the sort! Did these guys not get the "Maybe we shouldn't make up inflammatory political rhetoric" memo?!?

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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Greyarcher » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:48 pm UTC

Pffffffff, this is so absurd I'm more amused than contemptuous.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:51 pm UTC

Honestly, the only reason I could possibly see this as being suggested is a completely misguided attempt to protect people from being wrongfully accused of rape. But, that's like dousing a still on fire burn victim with gasoline in an effort to protect a doctor from medical malpractice.

Out of curiosity, what was the definition before?
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby podbaydoor » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:52 pm UTC

As was mentioned, this bill has no chance of passing, and is nothing more than political posturing in an attempt to stop taxpayer funding of certain abortions, but this article posed the issue as if it directly attacked the validity of rape victims claims. It did nothing of the sort!

Yes. It does. A GHB victim is not any less raped than someone who was "forced" - and her impregnation is not any less traumatic - but the GOP is now saying that her medical bill is going to be significantly higher because they don't think her claim "counts."

The other issue is the unclear language of the bill. As my friend says: "Oh good! They must be including all rape, then, since ALL RAPE IS FORCIBLE."
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby broken_escalator » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:54 pm UTC

So when they mean forcible they mean strong-arm, right? Not forcible like the normal term that means against their will.

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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Greyarcher » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:57 pm UTC

broken_escalator wrote:So when they mean forcible they mean strong-arm, right? Not forcible like the normal term that means against their will.
"Forcible" as in "involving force" probably. If they just meant "against their will", then "forcible rape" would just be redundant.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:11 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:
As was mentioned, this bill has no chance of passing, and is nothing more than political posturing in an attempt to stop taxpayer funding of certain abortions, but this article posed the issue as if it directly attacked the validity of rape victims claims. It did nothing of the sort!

Yes. It does. A GHB victim is not any less raped than someone who was "forced" - and her impregnation is not any less traumatic - but the GOP is now saying that her medical bill is going to be significantly higher because they don't think her claim "counts."

No, it doesn't. Everyone agrees that rape is rape is rape. The bill is about who pays for the abortion, NOT ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT SHE WAS RAPED. Unfortunately, this article, rather than talking about the real issue, decided to generate an entirely baseless accusation.

The justice department distinguishes between date rape and statutory rape. Does that mean that they are attacking the credibility of victims of date rape? Not at all. However, if this article were reporting on that issue, it would say "The justice department thinks date rape doesn't qualify as actual rape!"

It's ridiculous, it doesn't address the real issue, and it's hurting America.

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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby crowey » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:18 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
podbaydoor wrote:
As was mentioned, this bill has no chance of passing, and is nothing more than political posturing in an attempt to stop taxpayer funding of certain abortions, but this article posed the issue as if it directly attacked the validity of rape victims claims. It did nothing of the sort!

Yes. It does. A GHB victim is not any less raped than someone who was "forced" - and her impregnation is not any less traumatic - but the GOP is now saying that her medical bill is going to be significantly higher because they don't think her claim "counts."

No, it doesn't. Everyone agrees that rape is rape is rape. The bill is about who pays for the abortion, NOT ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT SHE WAS RAPED. Unfortunately, this article, rather than talking about the real issue, decided to generate an entirely baseless accusation.

The justice department distinguishes between date rape and statutory rape. Does that mean that they are attacking the credibility of victims of date rape? Not at all. However, if this article were reporting on that issue, it would say "The justice department thinks date rape doesn't qualify as actual rape!"

It's ridiculous, it doesn't address the real issue, and it's hurting America.

Ok, so if date rape is different but equal to violent force rape, but we all agree both are rape and that rape is a very bad thing. What justification is there to say that a woman violently raped is more deserving of money for an abortion than one who was drugged and raped?

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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby podbaydoor » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:20 pm UTC

Deciding on "who pays" for the abortion is a way of validating a rape/impregnation claim. The GOP is saying "we don't think your rape is worth our money, but those other people with 'different' rapes are."

Remember, this is in a larger social context. Phrases like "forcible" rape feed fuel to the fire, since "forcible" is so vague as to be meaningless, and yet the GOP clearly means "only rapes that involved physical force." What, pray tell, does the GOP define as physical force?

It's ridiculous, it doesn't address the real issue, and it's hurting America.

What real issue?
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:24 pm UTC

My stance on the argument over who pays for abortion was vastly rewritten by Freakonomics. I am of the persuasion that it should be as easy as possible with as few hoops to jump through as possible. Period. If that means the tax payer picks up the tab, then so be it. You'll be rewarded/paid back, if that even matters, with lower crime rates in 13-15 years.
This is Republicans being douchbags in an effort to maybe pull voters back who have an ignorant perspective of correlations in the society they live in.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Kewangji » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:32 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:
It's ridiculous, it doesn't address the real issue, and it's hurting America.

What real issue?
The issue that Heisenberg doesn't want to think about bad things, of course. Bad things make them feel bad, and thus they should not be thought about/discussed. How can anybody be happy if we keep talking about rape?
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby mmmcannibalism » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:38 pm UTC

I would love to see the justification for the bill.

If this was an attempt to sever all federal funding from paying for abortions, there would be philosophical ground to stand on. Since its just a fucked up attempt to win credit with the pro life base its a completely disgusting bill.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby netcrusher88 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:40 pm UTC

I want to see a headline: "GOP leadership: 'If you don't have a black eye, it wasn't rape'"

Republicans are showing us their strategy for the next couple of years, and it's what everybody expected. Run faux Hail Marys in the House to pander to whatever segment of their base Fox is suffering in the ratings with this week because they know that there's no chance of their repugnant bullshit even showing up on Obama's desk, much less [directly] affecting actual people.

They're not fucking governing, they're politicking. Badly. In a way that does cause tangible harm. So, you know, par for the fucking course for the GOP on social issues.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Thesh » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:42 pm UTC

I've been googling, and I can't find a clear definition of forcible rape. It appears to me, however, that forcible rape pretty much only excludes statutory rape. Federal law doesn't actually use the term rape, only sexual assault. So date rapes, druggings, etc. would be included under forcible rape. It should be clearly defined, but we may be jumping the gun on saying "Republicans are saying that it's not as bad to drug and rape someone as it is to rape under the threat of violence."
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby netcrusher88 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:43 pm UTC

You can't find a clear definition because there is no legal definition. There is no thought or value in this bill.

EDIT: therefore, we have to rely on the context of society since there is none more relevant. And invariably, when people talk about "forcible rape" they are using the term to devalue things like the fact that one is legally unable to give consent when substantially inebriated. The fact that it's still rape, even though it happened in a city and the victim didn't scream or put up much of a fight. The fact that if the only reason somebody's falling all over you is because they're unable to stand, they're not competent to consent.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby broken_escalator » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:44 pm UTC

Don't take snarky comments away from me, it's all I have left. :cry:

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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Radical_Initiator » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:47 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:I've been googling, and I can't find a clear definition of forcible rape. It appears to me, however, that forcible rape pretty much only excludes statutory rape. Federal law doesn't actually use the term rape, only sexual assault. So date rapes, druggings, etc. would be included under forcible rape. It should be clearly defined, but we may be jumping the gun on saying "Republicans are saying that it's not as bad to drug and rape someone as it is to rape under the threat of violence."


Yep, the vagueness is not a bug, it's a feature. It would also allow a parsing of "forcible rape" that excludes anything but a direct, imminent threat of death (gun, knife to the throat, etc.)
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Thesh » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:53 pm UTC

Criticisms of vagueness are valid, the language should be changed to say sexual abuse as defined here:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscod ... -000-.html

But I don't think it is really valid at this point to accuse the republican party of saying that date rape victims, for example, should be treated differently from someone who was raped at gunpoint.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Xeio » Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:55 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:But I don't think it is really valid at this point to accuse the republican party of saying that date rape victims, for example, should be treated differently from someone who was raped at gunpoint.
Except that's exactly what they're saying with this bill?

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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Thesh » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:00 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Thesh wrote:But I don't think it is really valid at this point to accuse the republican party of saying that date rape victims, for example, should be treated differently from someone who was raped at gunpoint.
Except that's exactly what they're saying with this bill?


I don't believe that's their intent. They use the term forcible rape, but it isn't well defined. As far as I can find from other definitions, it basically includes all rape with the exception of statutory rape and incest:

http://www.dps.state.ia.us/commis/ucr/2 ... rcible.pdf

FORCIBLE
“Any sexual act directed against another person,
forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly
or against the person’s will where the victim is
incapable of giving consent.”
CRIMES INCLUDE VICTIMS OF:
FORCIBLE RAPE 980
FORCIBLE SODOMY 139
SEXUAL ASSAULT WITH AN OBJECT 95
FORCIBLE FONDLING 850

NONFORCIBLE (Excludes Prostitution Offenses)
“Unlawful, nonforcible sexual intercourse.”
CRIMES INCLUDE VICTIMS OF:
INCEST 40
STATUTORY RAPE 162
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Radical_Initiator » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:05 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:I don't believe that's their intent. They use the term forcible rape, but it isn't well defined. As far as I can find from other definitions, it basically includes all rape with the exception of statutory rape and incest:



Yeah, that's why I thought the vagueness was a feature. That way, the lawmakers can say it doesn't spell out that "forcible rape" doesn't include date rape, drugging, etc., but it will be able to be parsed a number of different ways, at least until a precedent is settled.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby netcrusher88 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:07 pm UTC

Point: that's Iowa law. Federal law has no reference to "forcible rape", or definition of it.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Thesh » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:08 pm UTC

Radical_Initiator wrote:
Thesh wrote:I don't believe that's their intent. They use the term forcible rape, but it isn't well defined. As far as I can find from other definitions, it basically includes all rape with the exception of statutory rape and incest:



Yeah, that's why I thought the vagueness was a feature. That way, the lawmakers can say it doesn't spell out that "forcible rape" doesn't include date rape, drugging, etc., but it will be able to be parsed a number of different ways, at least until a precedent is settled.


To be perfectly honest, I think it's asinine to suggest that without more information.

netcrusher88 wrote:Point: that's Iowa law. Federal law has no reference to "forcible rape", or definition of it.


It's actually from the FBI uniform crime report, and yes I do agree that it should be changed to say sexual abuse as my previous post stated. I'm just saying we are likely making invalid assumptions and accusations about the intent of the bill.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby netcrusher88 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:12 pm UTC

Federal law already only allows spending federal money on abortion in the case of sexual abuse. That's how we know what Republicans mean. Also the fact that if you're talking about all rape, the forcible modifier is never anything other than extraneous.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Radical_Initiator » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:12 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:To be perfectly honest, I think it's asinine to suggest that without more information.


And I think it's asinine to assume otherwise. I see no reason to assume they used faulty language because they were in a hurry or were too stupid to realize the mistake. Never assume malice when stupidity will suffice, but when stupidity isn't a good enough reason ...
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Xeio » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:13 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:To be perfectly honest, I think it's asinine to suggest that without more information.
You do realize this has more to do with abortion politics, than caring about the actual victims of rape right? Legislators will interpret this to their heart's content, mostly at the cost of the victims (is there any possible situation that this law could create that doesn't harm the victims?).

Incidentally, what makes statutory rape less bad than other kinds of rape (even by your definition of forced, the GOP are claiming that much)?

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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby Thesh » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:31 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:Federal law already only allows spending federal money on abortion in the case of sexual abuse. That's how we know what Republicans mean. Also the fact that if you're talking about all rape, the forcible modifier is never anything other than extraneous.


AFAIK, federal law doesn't state one way or another. However, it is true that medicare only provides funding in certain cases, which are probably all included in this bill. This bill is political and intended to say "The Federal Government shouldn't fund abortions (except in certain cases)."

Radical_Initiator wrote:And I think it's asinine to assume otherwise. I see no reason to assume they used faulty language because they were in a hurry or were too stupid to realize the mistake. Never assume malice when stupidity will suffice, but when stupidity isn't a good enough reason ...


How about the fact that they are humans, and humans make mistakes? I think you want it to be a case of "Republicans believe that rape is only bad if it is done at gunpoint" but I just don't see that as the case. If they just used the term rape, it would have included statutory rape, which is why they used the term forcible.

Xeio wrote:You do realize this has more to do with abortion politics, than caring about the actual victims of rape right? Legislators will interpret this to their heart's content, mostly at the cost of the victims (is there any possible situation that this law could create that doesn't harm the victims?).


No shit this is to do with abortion politics. It is a bill banning federal funding of abortions. Yes, legislatures could make bad interpretations and the text should be changed. However, in no way do I see evidence that the Republicans are trying to suggest that date rape or drugging should be treated differently than rape at gunpoint.

Xeio wrote:Incidentally, what makes statutory rape less bad than other kinds of rape (even by your definition of forced, the GOP are claiming that much)?


It varies from state to state, but here in California consensual sex between a 17 and 18 year old is considered statutory rape (even if they are only a day apart in age). To me statutory rape doesn't fit the definition of rape at all.
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Re: The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:35 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:They use the term forcible rape, but it isn't well defined.
Kind of like how "partial-birth abortion" isn't well-defined and isn't the name of any actual medical procedure? If they used a clearly defined term, it would be much harder for them to try and please everyone by making the bill appear moderate to moderates and strong to extremists at the same time. Vaguely worded nonsense is nothing new in the GOP fight against abortion.

Thesh wrote:Criticisms of vagueness are valid, the language should be changed to say sexual abuse as defined here:
As others have said, the exemption for sexual abuse *already* exists. So the only way this could actually be a new bill that actually says something different from the existing law, is if the GOP hopes to further reduce the number of women who can get help paying for their abortions.

Heisenberg wrote:The justice department distinguishes between date rape and statutory rape. Does that mean that they are attacking the credibility of victims of date rape?
Do you have any idea what you're even talking about?

Statutory rape typically only means the kind where nominal consent may have been given but the victim is too young for that to carry legal weight. In other words, it's determined by the age of the victim, and is actually a legal distinction.

Date rape is when you're raped by someone you're dating (or more loosely by an acquaintance), and could therefore include any kind of rape, whether because of an age difference or coercion or drugging or physical force or a threat to someone's life. In other words, it's determined by the relationship the perpetrator has to the victim, and is typically not actually a legal distinction.
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