They ran for office talking about jobs and the economy, but some of Minnesota's Republican congressional reps are wading right in to one of the ugliest corners of the culture wars.
Minnesota representatives Michele Bachmann, Chip Cravaack, and John Kline have signed on to a House bill that would restrict the ability of some rape victims to get an abortion.[jump]
For decades, abortion warriors on both sides have dug in on either side of a shaky legislative line of truce known as the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortions except in cases of rape and incest.
But reps. Bachmann, Cravaack, and Kline think making sure rape victims have access to abortions is too generous. Their bill would restrict coverage to women who were forcibly raped. Were you the victim of date rape? Statutory rape? Did your rape not meet some standard of forcibleness? No abortion coverage for you.
The bill is unlikely to get past the Senate, but abortion rights activists are still amazed at the language of H.R.3. "Restricting coverage for rape victims is especially cruel and heartless," said Linnea House, executive director of NARAL MN.
Rep. Erik Paulsen is the only Minnesota Republican congressmen not to have signed on to the bill. We'll see how he votes on it. None of the four Republican representatives returned calls for comment today.