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House Republicans aim to redefine rape to limit abortion coverage

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A majority of House Republicans are taking aim at decreasing federal funding for reproductive health by changing the definition of rape in a newly-filed bill.

Currently, the federal government denies taxpayer monies to be used to pay for abortions, except in cases when pregnancies result from rape or incest or when the pregnancy endangers the woman’s life.

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However, if the 173 mainly Republican co-sponsors of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” have their way, that would all change. Instead of keeping the 30-year-old definition of rape in federal law, the bill would modify it to “forcible rape,” thereby severely limiting the health care choices of millions of American women and their families.

In other words, rape would not be rape unless violence were involved; however, the term “forcible rape” was left undefined, leading some to speculate its meaning since it is also not defined in the federal criminal code or in some state laws.

“This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible,” Nick Baumann of Mother Jones wrote recently.

He continued, “For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion.”

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If the bill becomes law, parents of minors would also be banned from paying for pregnancy termination for their daughters with tax-exempt health savings accounts. Also, the cost of the private health insurance that covered the treatment would not be able to be deducted as a medical expense for tax purposes.

The bill introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) was the second major piece of legislation filed by the Republicans after its attempt to repeal “The Affordable Care Act.” Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) hailed Smith’s bill as “one of our highest legislative priorities.”

“A ban on taxpayer funding of abortions is the will of the people, and it ought to be the will of the land,” Boehner said on the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade last week.

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The bill would also deny other exemptions for rape victims who were drugged or given alcohol, who were mentally limited, and who were date raped.

The incest exception of the bill granted federally-funded abortions only if the woman is under 18.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said recently that Rep. Smith’s bill marked a new beginning for future attacks on women’s health. She noted that “a record number” of bills against women’s health and family planning are currently filed in state legislatures.

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“In fact, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) plans to introduce a bill that would strip Planned Parenthood of all Title X family planning funding, which has made it possible for millions of low-income women to choose and pay for contraception and other basic preventive health care since 1970,” she said.

A November 2010 Hart Research poll [PDF] indicated that a majority of American voters who voted for a Republican candidate (71 percent) opposed the Smith bill.


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Rick Santorum rips into Corey Lewandowski’s ‘flippant’ admission that he’s happy to lie to the media

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During his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, President Donald Trump's former campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski — who was hoping to leverage his appearance trashing Democrats and the Russia investigation for a Senate run in New Hampshire — was forced to admit that he constantly lies on air.

On CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," even former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), a staunch defender of the president, was aghast at this.

"Senator, isn't it kind of a weird way to run for Senate by admitting that you're happy to lie to the American people?" asked Cooper. "I know he was phrasing it as lying to the media, lying to reporters, but, you know, it's not as if — the end result is you're lying to the American people. You are giving people false information. And you're fine with that? You have no moral problem with that?"

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Right-wingers have a full-blown freakout over Kavanaugh revelations — and it could blow up in their faces

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Do Republicans think “men are the real victims of sexism” is a winning argument going into the 2020 election? That sounds preposterous, but there are strong indications that Donald Trump and other leading Republicans believe they can win by feeding a “victim mentality” in men, a mentality they otherwise tend to decry when detected in actual victims.

On Sunday, the New York Times published an article by the authors of a new book about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, introducing more corroborating evidence for claims that Kavanaugh had a history throughout high school and college of getting trashed and then sexually abusing his female classmates. That story, almost a year after Kavanaugh’s momentous confirmation hearings, was interesting further evidence that Kavanaugh likely perjured himself before the Senate. Ultimately, it doesn’t really change anything, since there’s little reason to believe that anyone actually believed Kavanaugh was telling the truth at the time.

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Air Force admits it ‘would’t be surprised’ if they were ‘Trump Turnberry’s largest customer’

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The Air Force has not only been staying at Trump's resorts for three years, but they were also likely the largest customer of Trump's Scottish golf club.

Washington Post reporters David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell outed President Donald Trump for working his official relationship with the Saudi royal family so they'd stay at his hotels. Politico reporter Natasha Bertrand uncovered the fact that the U.S. Air Force was being used to funnel cash to the president's companies.

Trump's Turnberry resort was losing money until he was able to reroute Air Force plans to land in Scotland to refuel instead of a military base. While that might cost American taxpayers significantly more money, it was good business for the president. Now the resort is doing extremely well.

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