Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Republicans To Redefine Rape

The Grand Obstructionist Party is at it again, yet another attempt to shove their twisted and hypocritical views down the throats of all Americans. This time, through H.R.3 - No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, they seek to redefine what actually qualifies as rape. The goal is to not only prohibit access to any funds authorized or appropriated by Federal law which could in any way pay even part of the cost of an abortion, but to also prevent anyone from claiming any tax benefits from either the medical costs of the procedure or the cost of any insurance which helps pay for the procedure.

Here's a brief and probably incomplete summary of what can not be used to help defray the costs under this new proposal:
Employer Sponsored Health Insurance
If a health insurance provider receives so much as a penny of federal funds it can not pay any part of any abortion costs. Additionally, if an employer offers a health insurance plan which does cover abortion that employer would be prohibited from taking a tax deduction for the cost of that plan, even if no portion of any abortion was ever paid for, meaning most employers would simply stop offering plans which covered abortion. This, by the way, includes all federal government employees since their salaries and insurance are paid with tax dollars.
Low income individuals and families, as well as some disabled persons, and anyone else enrolled in Medicaid could not be reimbursed or covered for any abortion costs through Medicaid, most likely their only form of insurance or assistance. Low income means highly unlikely to be able to afford an abortion for any reason, so they're stuck.
Tax-Exempt HSA (Health Savings Account)
Have you put aside money to help defray any unexpected medical costs? Too bad, you can't use it if an abortion is what you're after.

According to this proposed new law the only exceptions would be forcible rape, incest (but only if the female is still a minor) or the presence of any physical issues which may threaten the life of the mother.

So here are a few scenarios which would be ineligible for the use of any funds or insurance previously described:
Statutory Rape
Your very young (12 or 13 years old) but physically mature daughter experiments with sex and is impregnated by her older, non-minor boyfriend. You will pay the entire bill for any abortion or abortion related expenses, and you can not claim any tax deductions for those expenses. If you can't afford the costs you're out of luck and a few months away from being a grandparent.
Drugged Then Raped
Women, were you slipped some of the date rape drug? Or just plain drugged into unconciousness, or perhaps a little too enthusiastically encouraged to drink until you passed out? Did your "date" or anyone who happened to accompany them then have a turn with you while you were out, resulting in your unwanted pregnancy? You better hope you can afford an abortion, because if you don't have the cash or can't get it you have no choice but to bear the child of (one of) your rapist(s) because technically, according to the Republicans, you weren't really raped so no funds for you! Enjoy that baby.
Rape Of A Mentally Disabled Person
If a mentally disabled person is tricked into sex, naively pressured into sex or in any other way has their disability exploited with the result being pregnancy, they are out of luck. No insurance, no clinic, no Medicaid, nothing receiving any federal funds can pay them or their caregiver a dime to help them out. Nor can their caregivers deduct any abortion related medical expenses at tax time. Way to add even more to the financial burdens of someone acting as a caregiver for a mentally disabled person. Nice.
Did daddy love his little girl a little too much? Too bad, no help for her! Unless she's a minor of course, but given the state by state variations in the legal age of consent that cutoff point could be anywhere from 12 to 18. Given the rather vague wording of this legislation the term "minor" could be defined by state law, or maybe by Federal law, nobody really knows. Imagine a 13 year old girl forced to bear the child of her own father because according to the Republicans, she wasn't really raped and is therefore undeserving of any assistance. Now, if dear old Dad would have beat the shit out of her, then she would be eligible for some assistance because somehow the extra physical abuse, though entirely unrelated to the sexual abuse, qualifies the crime to meet the new Republican definition of "rape." Even if this twisted legislation specified 18 years of age as the cutoff it would then force adult women to bear the children of their incestuous male relatives unless they had the money to cover all of the costs themselves. Somehow, it's ok to help one set of incest victims but a serious no-no to help another set, even though the one differentiating factor may be nothing more than a couple of weeks variation in birth date.

Then there are the “conscience protections.” These would empower courts to ensure that doctors, nurses and other health care practitioners may opt of performing abortions if it conflicts with their personal beliefs, with no repercussions. Are you kidding me? This from the same party who forced Terry Sciavo to be kept alive in a vegetative coma, against her own personal beliefs and wishes as determined by the courts, and against the personal beliefs and opinions of the medical staff attending to her, to the extreme point of the President of the United States signing legislation intended to violate the comatose woman's personal beliefs and keep her alive against her proven wishes. So now, a woman who has experienced the trauma of any of the situations outlined above, has been denied any financial assistance of any kind should it have any federal money involved but has somehow managed to scrape together the money to abort the child of her rapist can still be told "No" because some good "Christian" doctor doesn't believe the procedure should be performed at all. We'll overlook the fact that these same hypocritical assholes have no problems with forcing surgical procedures onto other people when the personal or religious beliefs of those people forbid it, that's different. Somehow.

Given everything going on in the world today, even the issues faced by this country, I think there are more important things to worry about. Our economy is in the toilet, jobs are few and far between, oil is again rising in cost, the climate has gone loco, crime and violence have passed the point of being simply ridiculous, our air isn't safe to breathe, our water isn't safe to drink, our food isn't safe to eat, terrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan, nuclear proliferation by rogue states run by looneytune despots and religious fanatics, but somehow this is the one thing on which the Republicans feel they need to focus their undivided attention. To quote House Speaker John Boehner's comments from a press conference held 12 days ago (Jan 20), "ending taxpayer-funded abortions is a top priority on the Republican agenda during the 112th Congress." Yeah, because compared to that none of the other stuff I just mentioned is important at all.

The language of this Bill is horrendous, intentionally vague and full of holes leaving way too much room for interpretation. The whole thing is shit, pure and simple. The term "forcible rape" is not even defined by federal law, no legal definition exists for the term and the Bill itself offers no such definition. Some states don't even have legal definitions for "forcible rape" so it's quite possible that a woman who was brutally beaten and gang raped could be forced to give birth to the child resulting from that rape unless she could afford the abortion herself. Without a legal definition of "forcible rape" there can be no forcible rape exemption, the victim must then pay because any assistance would be denied her if any of its funding came from federal tax dollars. Even if she could afford it the doctor, the nurses, or even the hospital administrator could still just refuse on personal grounds.

The ever growing extent of the hypocrisy demonstrated by the Republican party sickens me, infuriates me and saddens me. They have become the party of lies, the party of divisiveness and the party of hate. The party which believed in less government interference in the personal lives of its citizens no longer exists, no matter how loudly they continue to proclaim that as one of their goals

After America voted them back to power in November I can only imagine what the rest of the world thinks of us, they must think we are out of our ever loving minds.