The biggest problem in the House of Representatives at the moment is Chris Smith’s “No Taxpayer for Abortion” Act, which seeks to limit women’s choices in reproductive matters by doing things like banning federal funding for abortions in rape cases. Also an issue, though, was the bill’s language, which sought to differentiate between “rape” and “forcible rape.” Politico is reporting now that the word “forcible” will be removed after “a firestorm of criticism from women’s groups, and…enough attention to become the subject of a satirical segment on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” But the bill still sucks!
The underlying bill, which imposes sweeping new restrictions on existing taxpayer subsidies for health plans that cover abortion, has support from a bipartisan group of anti-abortion lawmakers, including several House GOP leaders who attended a press conference announcing its introduction last month.
Outrage over the bill, and especially “forcible,” led opponents to Twitter, where the hashtag #dearjohn was used to bombard House Speaker John Boehner with disapproval. And the opposition exists in person too: “It is absolutely outrageous,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Mother Jones. “I consider the proposal of this bill a violent act against women.”
But now that “forcible” will be removed, opponents and defenders alike will be forced to address the substance of the bill, which currently enjoys bipartisan support.