Three Minnesota Congress Members Among the Republicans Trying to Redefine Rape

I’m an advocate for ignoring House Speaker John Boehner, but it is hard to when he recently called an anti-abortion bill that redefines what rape is “one of our highest legislative priorities.”

In the bill, H.R. 3, some abortions would be denied except in cases of “forcible rape.”  That means many statutory rapes, incest, unconscious rapes involving alcohol or date-rape drugs, rapes of coercion and impaired mental ability might not be deemed “forcible.”  One pro-choice advocate said something to the effect that this bill would take us back to a time when saying no isn’t enough. 

So the big question is, who would define what forcible is?  And how would whether it was “forcible rape” or “just rape” be determined in each case?  Would there be rape panels determining the severity of the force?  Would the rape victim be judged based on resistance?  It seems very wrong, but I guess in the end it really doesn’t matter because the bill will not pass.  Regardless, Republican supporters should be ashamed of this.

They should be held accountable because it is a “top priority.”  Never mind that if Republicans really wanted to make it a top priority and pass an anti-abortion bill they could have done it a few years ago when they controlled the Presidency, the House and the Senate, rather than now when they know it won’t pass the Senate or the President.  Of course, maybe that is the point.  It looks good to their supporters who support them on that single issue, and this way they can continue to count on their support in the future.

And never mind the Republican battle cry of less government control, which is really laughable because the only people they want “unburdened” from government control are themselves and wealthy businessmen.  They still want to control you and me, with a special control emphasis on minority communities.  Why else would the Republicans want to decide who we love, what language we speak, if we can vote, whether babies born in the U.S. should be citizens or not, how clean the air is, whether women are equal or which populations get special treatment.  They want government to control your personal life as much as possible if it could impact them. 

And never mind the fact that some rich kids, who feel they are better than everybody else (maybe like the children of rich politicians and rich businessmen,) like to use date-rape drugs like Rohypnol.  Maybe they want to set the precedent that since there was a date rape drug involved, it really wasn’t “forced rape,” so it should have a lesser sentence.  That way they can protect their sons and all his frat buddies.

I realize I might be going a little over the top, but this bill isn’t about making our country better!  It is another cheap, hypocritical, poorly thought out stunt to feed to their base.  This bill not only deserves to be defeated, but the many Republican co-signors, including John Kline, Michelle Bachmann and Chip Cravaack, should be chastised for trying to say a rape isn’t really a rape unless it is violent.  This is just another wedge driven in to divide America.

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5 thoughts on “Three Minnesota Congress Members Among the Republicans Trying to Redefine Rape”

  1. Is this really about rape or about dictating to insurance companies and medical care providers what procedures they can cover ? Republicans are proposing government interference in business … they are denying an insurance company from selling policies that some individuals would want … this is intrusive government interference into people’s lives and the free market.

    This is classic Republican tactics … big press conference to let their supporters know that they have proposed legislation, then nothing happens …. as you state, they have done this for over a decade. If they were serious about overturning Roe-v-Wade, then they would just offer a Constitutional Amendment but they have never done that.

    1. While Collin is a Democrat, he was one of only a few to support this bill. This is not something supported by the vast number of DFLers, and he, as is often the case will be chastised by some DFLers. But unlike the GOP, we don’t automatically drum people out of the party who vote the way they feel is right. I’m sure there will a call for a challenger from some, but think about it. Collin is a pro-life Democrat. He can support this bill, while knowing it will go nowhere, just like all the Republicans who are supporting it. He can get his MCCL points without having to really account for it, he is just a politician in the current definition of what a politician is these days.

  2. Many a politician hangs his (or her) head whenever the question of abortion is raised … it becomes a choice of personal belief versus responding to constituent pressure (or outside groups.) If the two agree (choice and constituents) it’s an easy decision … and one that people like John Kline and Michelle Bachmann regularly promote and make it a central issue of their “calling” to be a member of Congress …. while others have to be forced to pronounce an opinion.
    Even if a member of Congress regularly sides with the anti-abortion crowd, it does not mean that they will be supported in elections. Case in point, Jim Oberstar … he joined with 64 Democrats (including Colin Peterson), voting FOR prohibiting federal funds for abortion services in the public option (however it allows individuals to separately purchase with their own funds plans that cover elective abortions and that private plans may still offer elective abortions.) Note: the public option was not included in the enacted legislation but this just documents Mr. Oberstar’s position. As we know, Mr. Oberstar was not re-elected and the opposition by MCCL was based on Obama health care bill which included rationing and abortion funding . The abortion funding claim has been refuted by FactCheck.org which cited a statement from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops stating that they “welcome this new policy”.

    Since Mr. Peterson is a co-sponsor of the legislation, he could have been cited, however my reading of the commentary is that focus of a majority of Republicans is on responding to special interests agendas … and not the county’s problems.
    Look at the House Republican efforts thus far based on bills that they have brought to a vote … essentially three bills :
    1.) Repealing healthcare
    2.) STOP (Stop Over Printing of proposed legislation.)
    3.) Presidential campaign funding.

    All three bills have been rushed through without going through committee hearings.
    Repealing healthcare was a political act … which they know will go nowhere.
    STOP takes the number of copies of a bill from over 200 to 75 … a number that is much higher than it needs to be … and still allows for any Member of Congress to get unlimited numbers of copies for distribution … so this does not produce the savings desired.
    The key question of funding of Presidential campaigns revolves around disclosure … as Tim Walz (D-MN-01) stated during the legislative debate : “
    foreign corporations should not buy our elections, that any American wishing to run for office should do so on merit and should do so with transparency and the knowledge of the American public.

    Before the Republicans could reject Mr. Walz’s request for disclosure, he asked the question that should be at the heart of every legislative action :
    Mr. WALZ of Minnesota. Parliamentary inquiry.
    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Please state your parliamentary inquiry.
    Mr. WALZ of Minnesota. Does the underlying bill cut spending? Does the motion cut spending?
    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair cannot respond to inquiries regarding the content of a pending proposition.

    That’s what the Republicans have brought thus far … when Congress should be talking about fiscal matters and creating jobs, they are responding to Special Interest groups that will keep them enjoying their lifestyles while ordinary people worry about today and tomorrow.
    Oh, and as long as I am bashing the House leadership … when will they put in a four day week ? They have been in recess for more days then they have been in session. In early January, Republican House leadership stated that a Tuesday-through-Thursday schedule “can create an inefficient, unproductive, and frenetic legislative body.” Minority Leader Eric Cantor promoted that his five-day workweek will result in less travel for the lawmakers and potential savings to their congressional allowances. When will that happen … but then again, if they just keep addressing meaningless issues, this will be the worst Congress ever.

  3. FYI : There is another bill that is based on the “fear” that federal dollars could be involved with abortions. H R 112 Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. The bill is co-sponsored by Mr. Kline and Ms. Bachmann but not currently by any other Minnesota member of Congress. The legislation prohibits any federal family planning assistance to an entity unless the entity certifies that, during the period of such assistance, the entity will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs, an abortion. In other words, it does not matter that the Federal Dollars would not be used for abortion services, if the organization uses private dollars for abortion services, they can not recieve any Federal Dollars.
    The “target” is Planned Parenthood since they provide 1.85 million low-income women with family-planning education and medical care at the clinics each year (such as basic health medical care, like pap smears and screening for diabetes, breast cancer, cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.) Planned Parenthood doesn’t use government money to provide abortions … but it does pay for its own abortion services.
    So, Mr. Kline, Ms. Bachmann, et al would eliminate a “free” service available to the needy for basic health care services because someone may ask about an abortion … of course by repealing healthcare and not offering a replacement, those citizens that may have gotten diabetes screening, education and treatment may now ignore the problem until they become so ill that they end up in the emergency room as an uncompensated care patient … which I end up paying for in higher service bills and insurance premiums … plus the patient suffers needlessly.
    Or worse yet, by denying access to Planned Parenthood’s Pre-Natal Care program a pregnant woman could endanger her life and as such the proposed legislation permits an abortion. Oh, yeah Planned Parenthood also offers education on adoption as an alternative … I guess Mr. Kline and Ms. Bachmann do not see any value in that either.

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