GOP Drops Asinine Attempt to Redefine Rape as "Forcible Rape." Thank You, Kristen Schaal!

Looks like some members of the GOP must have seen The Daily Show last night, because they've decided to give up on their ridiculous crusade to redefine rape in a bill banning taxpayer subsidies for abortions. Of course, they still want to ban taxpayer subsidies for abortions in most cases, so it's not exactly time to break out the champagne, but at least women who have been raped will not have to prove that the rape they experienced was "forcible" in order to get government assistance for abortions. (You know, because a lack of consent is what defines rape. We know you know.) We'd like to thank Kristen Schaal for tipping the scales in favor of women's rights in this instance. We're sure that her report on last night's Daily Show on the "rape loophole" in our government had something to do with today's decision:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rape Victim Abortion Funding
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook
by Kelsey Wallace
View profile »

Still Reading? Sign up for our Weekly Reader!

13 Comments Have Been Posted

You mean, they still want to

You mean, they still want to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion even though it is ALREADY illegal! A total waste of time.

I posted a comment earlier,

I posted a comment earlier, which was not obscene or crude, and they have already taken it down. What a sad excuse for a media outlet. If you throw out an opinion which is different than what they have written, you are censored. What a waste of time this "news source" is. Differing opinions is what makes this country great. It is what keeps people on their toes, constantly working to improve things. Without different opinions, no change could ever occur. I am disappointed that I can no longer read from this website and that I will now have to discourage others from reading it as well.

"fair and balanced" means eliminating rape culture

Gosh, bitch magazine should really be covering the "differing opinions," here.

This news article is only representing the oppressed minority of RAPED women who need time to heal before planning for a family. Or they may be 13 years old and need to develop some life skills, or they may not have enough money for an abortion (if they don't have enough money for an abortion, they wouldn't have enough money for a kid).

This news article, in order to be fair and balanced, should also represent the already over-represented RAPE CULTURE that disbelieves and shuns survivors, puts rapists back on superbowl winning teams so that millions of people will knowingly root for a rapist, charges women for attacking and/or killing their rapists, and calls apologizing for rape advocacy a "difference of opinion."

If you seek anti-choice and pro-rape media, look at almost every other news source available.

Not about opinion

Hi there anonymous,

In addition to the great points Alicia made about the pervasiveness of rape culture, I'd also like to point out that I removed your comment because you ended it by calling me an "idiot." That may not be obscene or crude by your standards, but it violates our comments policy (linked to in my signature below) and is also just plain rude. Whether or not I'm an idiot is not the kind of differing opinion that belongs in this space (nor, I'd argue, is it making this country great). Hope that helps clear things up for you.

We still have a way to go though

Unfortunately, we still need to shoot down this bill in a major way. It attempts to prevent hospitals and doctors from being punished for refusing to administer abortions in any case, EVEN WHEN THE WOMAN'S LIFE IS IN DANGER.
We need to raise awareness that this "Protect Life Act" is in fact doing the opposite of what its name implies.


Thanks for chiming in on that, Grace. This bill is still moving forward, just without the language change. We definitely need to work to stop it! You can take action with Planned Parenthood here, as well as contact your local representatives and let them know where you stand.

Food for Thought

First of all, I don't believe that what a woman is wearing or how many people she has slept with in the past or any kind of crap like that should have any bearing on a rape case. If a woman says no and a man has sex with her anyway, it is rape. Pure and simple. However, I don't think that "Hey, let's head down to Planned Parenthood and kill the baby" is the answer. For one thing, there IS a such thing as the morning after pill and it's effective for up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. Also, I wish people would think of it this way: Yes, rape is a horrible tragedy and changes a girl's life but why not take something horrible and turn it into something wonderful? There are thousands of couples in the United States who are desperate for a baby and are unable to have one. Rather than killing an innocent, defenseless little life, what is so wrong with carrying the baby and giving it to a couple who wants a baby??? When a rape occurs, a woman has a complete loss of control over what is happening to her - it is no different for that helpless little baby inside of her. That baby that's getting sucked into a machine has a beating heart, little hands and feet. It is precious, whether it was conceived in love or in hate. I wish that young women would consider their unborn child before heading off to an abortion clinic to have the baby murdered. A mother is all that precious unborn baby has.....

@Food for Thought - I think

@Food for Thought - I think most young women DO give consideration to their situation before making such a personal and heavy decision. I don't dig abortion either, but not for the same reasons you do. I just think it sounds like a horrendous thing to put your body through and it really should only be a last resort.... a legal and accessible resort.

Not everyone has access to

Not everyone has access to the morning after pill. You have to keep in mind that rape victims are going through a huge rush of emotions: self-loathing, disgust, anger, depression, fear, embarrassment. I applaud the women who are level-headed enough to make their way up to the pharmacy counter immediately after it happens. Also, keep in mind that there are different laws in different states that prevent minors from having access to the pill. In some states you have to get a prescription from your doctor or have parental permission. If only a small percentage of rapes are even reported, can you imagine how many young, under-eighteen-year-old girls actually waltz up to her parent(s) and say, "Hey, I was raped yesterday...can you please take me down to the pharmacy to get Plan B? I only have about 36 more hours left." In addition to that you have to understand that a rape victim goes through a period of denial...if you're denying that it ever happened in those first 72 hours, it's too late by the time you realize what actually happened. To some victims, what's growing inside her is not a child; it's a daily, excruciating reminder of how she was violated and destroyed in the most intimate way possible. Personally, I cannot imagine letting a child be born to a mom that resents it. I'm not saying all do...but it's not the same. Adoption is a great option (excuse the rhyme), but it's not for everyone.

re: Food for Thought

Many women do not see the fetus that is the result of rape to be any kind of wonderful. They are forced to think about their rape every single second of every single day, made to carry around a fetus that they loathe (which raises a whole lot of questions and, most likely, self-loathing because logically they know it's not the fetus' fault that they hate it) and are basically stuck in that moment of being raped until the baby is delivered.

Now certainly not all women feel this way. Some carry it to term and give it up for adoption gladly, others may even see it as a silver lining or a blessing to come out of a horrific experience. And to those women, I applaud you. I think it's absolutely fantastic. But to expect every single woman to want to do this? It's just cruel.

As a side note, I wouldn't consider an unwanted fetus to be a 'baby' so early in the pregnancy. It's not sneaking into someone's house and murdering their baby. It's an unwanted fetus and that woman has the right to not have an unwanted fetus growing in her uterus.

I understand what you mean, but...

I understand what you mean, but unfortunately that just isn't realistic. Megh is right. While I am pro-choice, my fiance is just about as pro-life as you can possibly get. He truly believes that the fetus is a baby from the minute it is conceived and onward. He strongly disagrees with most forms of abortion, in almost every context. However, he firmly believes that rape victims should have abortion as an option, and that expecting a rape victim to carry her child is sick and cruel. He says he considers it a threat to the well-being of the mother. Even some of the staunchest, most life-loving people recognize that as precious as life and children are, an unwanted fetus that serves as a tortured reminder of rape is not viewed by every woman as a precious little bundle of joy. It doesn't mean she (or people who support her position) has no regard for life, that she (and they) doesn't understand that there are adoptive families waiting for healthy babies. It's not wrong to wish there was a way to take those fetuses and give them to an adoptive family, but there's just no way to make it happen.

Expecting a woman to get over the fact that she was raped, carry her the child for 9 months, go through delivery, and then hand it off to a happy family is idealistic but just not realistic. Pregnancy is a difficult, dangerous 9 months and delivery can be dangerous as well. It takes a severe toll on the body and on the mind. It can affect your career and your medical bills and your insurance. It should be something you have chosen to go through with, something you signed up for when you started having consensual sex with a self-chosen partner. It shouldn't be foisted on you, it shouldn't put your health at risk and your mental well-being in jeopardy through absolutely zero kind of consent on your part. It shouldn't be a constant reminder of an extremely violent crime against you -- and it would be. With every moment of pregnancy, with every moment of having to awkwardly answer all the happy questions put forth to you by family/co-workers/people in the grocery store. Everyone would know you were raped. People might judge you if you didn't have a wedding ring on, maybe make comments to you. You'd have to explain, or make up an excuse, or ignore them but feel angry, or...

D'you see what I mean? It's just not fair to MAKE someone go through all of that, to tell her she's a bad person if she just can't handle it. That's just not right. I wish that fetuses that are the result of rape could somehow be zoomed out and brought to term and given to a couple in adoption (I want to adopt kids myself!) But the world just does not and cannot work like that. It's sad, but it's true.

Add new comment