Legislators are backing off the move we told you about last week that would have narrowed the cases in which victims of rape would be eligible for publicly funded abortions.
Minnesota representatives supported the bill, including Republicans Michele Bachmann, John Kline, and Chip Cravaack, and Democrat Collin Peterson.[jump]
For decades, lawmakers on both sides of the abortion rights debate had agreed that a ban on federally funded abortions shouldn't apply to victims of rape and incest. But HR3 would have narrowed eligibility to only victims of "forcible rape," and not statutory rape and date rape.
News of the new language generated outrage--and a spot-on treatment by Kristin Schaal on The Daily Show--and the sponsors of the bill are suddenly saying they never meant to change the exemption for rape victims (even though that's the way they wrote the bill). The rape and incest provision will remain unchanged in their new bill.
That's not to say that the bill is harmless--it's still called the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," and it's still the most sweeping legislative strike against abortion coverage and legal abortion in recent memory. But at least "forcible rape" won't become enshrined in our nation's laws.
Here's that Daily Show clip:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Rape Victim Abortion Funding|