If You Get Raped, You Better Keep a Receipt

This week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) returned from April recess with a spring in his step and a gleam in his eye. At the top of his agenda? A far-reaching attack on abortion access, misleadingly titled the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," or as we like to say in the beltway, H.R. 3, which is scheduled for a vote tomorrow.

You might have thought that the anti-choice leaders in the House would be worn out from trying — and failing — to hold up the entire federal budget over cervical cancer screenings (which, contrary to assertions made on Fox & Friends, you can't get at Walgreens). But these days they appear to have limitless energy for attacking women's health and well-being. This week's target is insurance coverage that includes abortion care.

The essence of H.R. 3 can be expressed in two words: rape audits. That's right, this bill could force rape and incest survivors who choose abortion care to prove their trauma to IRS agents. To be clear, this radical, expansive bill has many seriously harmful impacts, but this one uniquely captures H.R. 3's malevolent spirit.

In an effort to impose one narrow ideology on every woman's life, H.R. 3 rewrites long-standing tax laws to penalize a single, legal medical procedure: abortion. It denies tax credits to small businesses and middle-class families if their health plans include abortion coverage, and imposes a tax increase on women who need abortion care.

In their beneficence (also known as a response to really bad press), the bill's authors maintained a longstanding exception to the bill's restrictions for cases of rape and incest (as well as when a woman is in danger of dying), after initially trying to narrow the definitions of rape and incest. However, as we learned from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, the rape exception could be enforced just like every other tax provision — through IRS audits. And just as in every other audit, the burden would rest with the woman to produce sufficient evidence. Or as Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) put it last month at a rally for women's health: if you get raped, you better keep a receipt.

What does this reveal? An utter callousness about the actual impact of government meddling in a woman's life, and a desire to make a difficult time even harder if that furthers the right's narrow social agenda. H.R. 3 represents radical government intrusion into a profoundly personal realm. Each of the provisions of the bill, whether or not they have a quotable label, carries through that same theme.

In addition to trying to excise abortion coverage from the private insurance market, H.R. 3 would make permanent the unjust abortion bans that prevent millions of women — such as those enrolled in Medicaid, federal employees, and residents of the District of Columbia — from having health insurance coverage that includes abortion care. In other words, H.R. 3 denies women health insurance that covers their health care needs. Talk about a total disregard for women and making a difficult time harder.

The authors of H.R. 3 have given us a gift: a bill where the heinous extent of government intrusion is impossible to ignore. Tell Congress enough is enough: a woman's medical decisions are her own.

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Anonymous

Is this Marquise de Sad political topik ?

Anonymous

I agree with everything you said in the article but I wish they're was less editorializing.

Anonymous

I suppose the next step is forcing the female victim to marry her rapist which was one of those moral laws found in the holy bible.

Anonymous

Can you tell me where the bible says the victim must marry the rapist?

Anonymous

Can you tell me where the bible says the victim must marry the rapist?

Anonymous

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days."

Even if the girl doesn't want to marry him, her FATHER is the one who can say she doesn't have to marry. Leaving her with no choice of her own.

Anonymous

John Boehner is a disease for which no cure exists.
It's a total embarrassment that he's from this town I live in. He's a freak of nature and a disgrace to humanity.
He said he'd "rather kill myself than raise minimum wage."
People sent in comments to that statement saying they'd supply rope, guns, anything he needed to do it and one person even sent in directions on HOW to do it so that he succeeds.
I said nothing at all, but the person who told how to do it was exactly right. I hope he doesn't go and try it.
I don't think he's going to do it anyway. Just like Rush Limbaugh, they never STFU about anything and are ALways making threats they never keep.
"I'm going to leave the country if Obamacare becomes law." But he's still there doing his pathetic radio show proving himself to be a fat*ss liar.

My friend used to have a rebellious daughter when the daughter was 13 and one day she told her kids not to leave the house while they're out.
The daughter said "Until I meet a guy to marry and then I am SO gone."
The mother said "Honey, please don't threaten me with peace and quiet."
That's what Boehner and his ilk are like; they threaten you with peace and quiet.

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