Sunday, January 30, 2011

Redefining Rape...20 years ago

A friend of mine recently linked me to this article from Mother Jones. At first I thought it was a joke. Federal funding to be limited only to cases of "forcible rape," without ever defining that term? Federal funding for abortions is already quite limited, but has never specified what kind of rape is necessary for someone to qualify. After some searching around, though, I discovered that H.R.3 is a real proposal. It's not overly long, and not overly specific- which is part of my problem with it. Guess who's currently left out by the term "forcible rape" and the bill's exceptions?
  • Someone who is raped while drunk
  • Someone who is raped while drugged
  • Someone who is raped by a family member, but is over the age of 18
  • Someone with a mental health condition that affects their decisionmaking skills
  • Someone who freezes instead of fighting
  • Someone who is raped by an acquaintance
  • Someone who is the victim of statutory rape
The list continues. There are so many things wrong with this bill, I get a headache thinking about it. The important thing at the moment, however, is the way this bill could drastically limit the options for people who are pregnant as a result of a rape that it doesn't recognize- and the way this could negatively shape future legislation that deals with rape.


  1. So, basically - the bill would only fund in the case that a victim showed visible signs of having struggled and went straight to the hospital afterwards to get evidence that she was raped.

    This sounds to me like a case where people who are against abortion are playing with the definition of rape, in order to achieve an ends that they mistakenly think will justify the means.

  2. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. This is horrible!