sophyturtle wrote:I don't see a way this bill is defend-able really.
If they think it is something that could happen, they are bad people who should feel bad.
if they don't think it will work, they are purposefully wasting tax payer money, time, and trying to scare people making them bad people who should feel bad.
I don't support this bill at all, but you really don't see how someone could support it in good faith? I don't see how that would be difficult. If you believe that a fetus has rights and abortion is murder, it would seem self-evident that you don't want tax dollars supporting abortion.
Why then, you might ask, draw a line between "forcible" and statutory rape? Simple: because even if they'd prefer not to draw that line and ban funding for all abortions, then know they can't get that passed (or it would be too politically unpopular). The reason for the exclusion of statutory rape, in my best estimate, is not intended to say it's any less bad, or not rape rape, or victim-blame, or anything else that's been mentioned in this thread. It may have the effect of reinforcing those beliefs in the culture, but it seems more likely that's an unintended consequence.
Now surely, not all Republicans (and the 16 Dems) believe abortion is always wrong or should never receive funding. And some of those who do wouldn't admit that publicly, because it's a fairly unpopular position. But it's not hard to see how some strongly anti-abortion politicians like this, and how many others know they need to vote for it because so much of public discourse (especially in campaigns) gets reduced to pro-choice or pro-life, and they know they don't want to be on the pro-choice side.
The waste of taxpayer money is kind of a strange accusation. The House passes bills, for political reasons, all the time that they know the Senate won't. Even last Congress, when Democrats controlled both houses, the House passed more than 400 bills the Senate never considered, and for most of them they knew they stood no chance in the Senate. Many of these were on progressive priorities like environmental protection or anti-discrimination. Was each of these bills a waste of money?
Lastly about passage in the Senate:
There's no need for it to go through committee, even if it passed a committee, Reid wouldn't bring it to the floor (unless he knew it would fail and wanted to make a point, see Ryan Budget, HR.1). Instead it'd come through one of two routes: an amendment brought by the minority, where it'd need 60 votes to pass, or as a sweetener to buy a couple Republican votes in an important piece of legislation like the debt ceiling increase or the 2012 budget. Of these, only the latter seems a plausible path to passage. Though given that the Dems fought fiercely against the defunding of Planned Parenthood in the CR fight, and that this isn't really a spending cut issue (in fact, Norquist labeled it a tax increase), I suspect the chances of it being passed aren't too high.