Redefining rape

No, readers, this isn’t some radical idea of mine. It’s a radical idea of John Boehners. Or the GOP’s. Or maybe it’s actually not an idea at all. No one seems to have the facts straight on this one.

The debate du jour surrounds the proposed the boldly – albeit inaccurately – named “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act” that Boehner has said would be a top priority this session. Specifically section 309, which states:

The limitations established in sections 301, 302, 303, and 304 shall not apply to an abortion– (1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest; or (2) in the case where the pregnant female suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the pregnant female in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.

I’ve emphasized the most talked about part, in case you couldn’t figure out what the hubbub was about. So the argument is, and what columnists and newsmen are whining about nationwide, is that “all rape is forcible!” “This bill takes us back to a time when just saying ‘no’ wasn’t enough to qualify as rape!” Neither, of course, is really true.

Rape is a violent word. A scary word. The origins of the word lie in the Latin word “rapio” – the concept of what you do to a city after you’ve destroyed its army and are looting it for slaves and spoils. To rape someone meant to strip them of their freedom and force them into enslavement – while this definition is rarely used today (at least knowingly), it is not an inappropriate metaphor for the damage a sexual rape causes its victim.

And it is a word that has been applied broadly to a number of crimes that may not really fall under its common understanding. For instance, if two consenting minors have sex, is that rape? Legally, yes. What about if a woman gets drunk, has sex with a man, then the next day claims she wouldn’t have if she was sober? Legally, that’s also rape. When you think of the word rape, are these what come to mind? Or is it the myriad of more violent, disgusting acts that have been more strongly associated with the word?

“Forcible rape,” the controversial term that everyone is crying over, is not a term defined by the legal code, unfortunately. Rather, it is used by the FBI to differentiate between the myriad of crimes that are called “rape” nowadays.  Let’s assume that this is the intended meaning, and use the following definition from the FBI:

Forcible rape, as defined in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Attempts or assaults to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded.

Being as the government already limits is funding of abortion to cases of incest, rape, and when the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life. This means that the difference this bill makes is centered around that phrase “forcible rape.” Should the term be defined in the bill? Absolutely.

The biggest change that I see here is that statutory rape is out. If a man has consensual sex with an underage girl, which results in a pregnancy, that would no longer qualify for a government-sponsored abortion. It’s still a crime, however, this bill does nothing to change that. What this does is prevent every irresponsible teenage girl in America from getting a free abortion on demand simply for being under 18. Additionally, in the following clause, abortions for pregnancies out of incest are no longer funded unless the girl is a minor. In other words, this seems to be more about promoting individual responsibility than anything else. Taking away free abortions may be a horrific violation of womens’ rights in the eyes of the feminist movement; frankly, I couldn’t care less. If anything, this bill doesn’t go nearly far enough in its limitations. It should clearly define what “forcible rape” is, however, to avoid legal pandering and loopholes in the future – what if the woman were drugged, for instance, which removes the need for the use of physical force? Is that forced rape? It should be answered.

Notably, I doubt this will make a lot of practical difference. Medicaid funds VERY few abortions around the country as a percentage of the total. The most recent figures I could find, from 2006, showed only 191 Federally funded abortions nationwide that year, 54 of which fell under the restricted guidelines – the rest were court ordered (106) or “rare circumstances” (31). In contrast, States funded 177,213 abortions that year – the vast majority in California or New York.

However, there is a bright spot in this legislation. Section 308 interests me.

Nothing in this chapter or any other Federal law shall be construed to require any State or local government to provide or pay for any abortion or any health benefits coverage that includes coverage of any abortion.

Nothing in this chapter or any other Federal law? This bill will prevent any Federal law from requiring State and local governments from having to pay for abortions, or providing health coverage that includes abortion? Sign me up as a small step in the right direction…

Fight FOCA

Those of you who have been around for a while know my stance on the issue of abortion. It falls in the same column as the issue of murder – “don’t do it.” This isn’t a religious issue, despite how much the media (or the President) might want to play it off as such. This is a simple issue of whether or not the government should legalize genocide. The battle just became more difficult with Obama taking office and the Democrats securely holding both houses, so I was grateful when Prester Scott put out the call today to support, and made me aware of, Fight FOCA – an organized coalition dedicated to fighting the monstrocity that is the “Freedom Of Choice Act.” I’m going to shamelessly steal his assessment of the act:

FOCA, in the form in which it was filed in 2007, is a brief and sweeping bill that would eliminate, in one stroke, all federal, state and local laws and regulations that restrict or “discriminate against” abortion in any way. Among other things, this would:

  • End the ban on partial-birth abortion (which is really infanticide on a fully-developed child who just hasn’t left the womb yet).
  • Force taxpayers to fund abortion.
  • Spit in the face of (what’s left of) the Tenth Amendment’s protection of State powers. If a bulldozer measure like this were passed to preserve clearly enumerated Constitutional protections, that would be one thing, but abortion is not one of them. Roe v. Wade was patent judicial activism.
  • Eliminate parental-consent laws for minors seeking abortions. (If the States don’t matter, the rights of mere parents and families count even less.)
  • Potentially, strike down public health regulations and medical licensing on the practice of abortion. So much for keeping abortion “safe.”
  • Potentially, force medical personnel and/or hospitals that accept government-funded insurance (such as Medicaid) to perform abortions on demand. This is probably the most severe consequence. Doctors and nurses who don’t believe in abortion for religious or philosophical reasons could lose their licenses, or just find themselves practically unable to find employment. Catholic and other religious hospitals might have to close, all the charity work they do now to go undone. (What will this do to the economy, I wonder?)

President Obama told Planned Parenthood, “The first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing I’d do.” His record shows him to be arguably the most pro-abortion senator in the country, and he was infamously against Illinois’ Born Alive Infant Protection Act, a position which put him beyond pro-abortion and into pro-infanticide territory. His reasoning for opposing that act tottered somewhere between weak and absurd, to the point of directly stating that the inconvenience to doctors simply wasn’t outweighed by the fact human life was at risk. Now he has the opportunity to take his insanity to the national stage, having already slashed the regulations put in place by Bush (and Reagan, before Clinton had his way) to prevent our foreign aid money from being used to perform abortions.

Nancy Pelosi has also introduced a new expenditure in the montrous bailout plan being worked by Congress – an extra couple hundred million for “family planning” and contraceptives. She defends this by suggesting that children put an unnecessary burden on the goverment, and so by reducing births, they will reduce government costs, and stimulate the economy.

We are fighting an uphill battle here, and need to be on our toes at the very least until we can get some power back in 2010. Signing that petition would be a good start.

On Abortion

Digging this topic back up from a couple of posts ago, because it seems to be coming up all over the place lately. As a result, it’s been on my mind, and now is getting its own blog post.

Abortion, to my eyes, is one of the most incredible problems we face as a nation, from a moral standpoint. It’s extremely divisive, morally ambiguous, and has great social power weighing in on both sides of the argument. More importantly: it involves the mass murder of over a million Americans every year.

Did that get your attention at all? Let me say it again: this is the mass murder of over a million Americans every year. Condoned, and sometimes paid for, by your government. If you’re not pissed off about this yet, then you probably won’t like the rest of my blog.

The debate surrounding the topic of abortion is a fascinating one to me: the undisputed facts are that currently about 1.2 million abortions are performed in America every year, and that each of those abortions ended the life of a human baby in utero. No one argues that. The argument is over whether or not that’s an acceptable occurance. If you think about that for a while, that the argument has nothing to do with medical procedure, but whether or not those babies are in fact people with natural human rights – well, its enough to drive a person mad. And people can argue back and forth about that all day, and it certainly will not be solved on the pages of this blog, but in my mind I’ve never understood how someone can so easily rationalize away a human life – be it an unborn child or an eldery grandfather or a woman in a coma.

But even bringing up the topic of abortion will quickly expose the presuppositions of those involved in the discussion – those who feel it’s simply a social/religious policy issue versus those who feel it is a moral life and death issue. And while I suppose you may find many of the “social policy” crowd in the pro-life camp, I doubt you’ll find many who think that abortion is muder participating at pro-abortion rallies. What I am saying is that those who suggest abortion is only a social issue are dismissing abortion as being the ending of human life, because if it was truly about human life then we’d be talking about whether it should have the full weight of first-degree murder behind it, or if it should just constitute something like negligent homicide.

Instead, these people have for the most part either try to remain ignorant of the facts, or else grasp at straws to suggest that somehow the baby has not yet been given its right to live because it lacks specific body parts, or is too dependent on its mother, or has not yet fully developed conciousness… But these are trifles, and cannot form a solid platform to stand on. So instead you hear, far more often than any other argument, that abortion is necessary in cases of rape, incest, or instances in which the life of the mother is risked.

A couple of years ago, while arguing the so-called merits of abortion in an online community, I dug up an interesting fact: less than 1% of abortions are because of rape or incest, and somewhere between 75% and 85% of rape victims opt against abortion. Even fewer are listed as due to the mother having life-endangering health problems. We’re talking roughly 0.7% of all abortions being done for these reasons. Even if we add in other health reasons, the total rises to only roughly 2%. The vast majority of abortions are done out of mere convenience, not because of this percieved “necessity.”

Now, with President-elect Obama promising to pass FOCA if it gets to his desk, and the Catholic church facing widespread withdrawl from the healthcare field as a result, we face the possibility of government-assisted abortion making massive leaps forward on a national scale and overriding every countermeasure placed in the last 35 years. It’s a scary thought and proves that the pro-abortion movement is not interested in merely making abortions available where it could be considered “necessity,” but instead making it available upon request to every girl and woman in America, without such restrictions as waiting periods, parental consent or even notification, and funding it with your tax dollars. This wants you to pay for the systematic genocide of an entire generation of as yet unborn children, and that’s simply the fact of the matter.

This is not a country that should embrace genocide as a national heritage.

On Moral Squirming

Via Leanna comes this link, which got my blood boiling for all sorts of reasons, as it attempts to invoke God’s grace as a reason for being accepting of not just political views based on sin, but the sin itself. The post is copied here almost in its entirety as I dissect it, and you can find the original here. This is going to be a little bit scatterbrained, but I needed to get this written down… Continue reading On Moral Squirming