The Los Angeles Times:
The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a sweeping antiabortion package to further distance federal funds from the procedure by solidifying existing measures and imposing new ones.While no Republicans voted "no," sixteen Democrats voted yes with the GOP. Here's a list of who they are (via):
The measures stand little chance of approval by the Senate, but again demonstrated the key role social issues still play in unifying the Republican Party.
Dubbed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the bill was approved along party lines and endorsed by longtime abortion foes and the House Republican leadership, despite arguments that GOP lawmakers should keep a narrow focus on budget and spending issues.
Republicans did end up dropping the "forcible rape" language, but they're still trying to narrow the exceptions for when the federal government will pay for abortions by using what mother Jones called "a sly legislative maneuver."
In February, Republicans drew widespread condemnation for their "forcible rape" proposal, which legal experts said would have excluded statutory rape victims and others from obtaining abortions through Medicaid. Amidst public outcry and a protest campaign by left-leaning groups, Republicans abandoned the language, which had been included in the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," a bill the GOP leadership numbered H.R. 3 to signify its high priority to the party. But while they've amended their legislation, which faces a floor vote in the House on Wednesday, Republicans haven't stopped trying to narrow the already small exception under which federal funding for abortions is permissible. They've used a sly legislative maneuver to make sure that even though the language of the bill is different, the effect remains the same.This is just another example of how "small government" means nothing. According to this bill the IRS would have to audit women who've had abortions to ensure no tax benefit helped them pay for it. If a woman receives any kind of deduction for an abortion and she's audited, then she'll have to provide evidence (of what kind I have no idea) that it was incest, rape, or her life was in danger. It's completely sickening and the fact sixteen Democrats voted "yes" on this infuriates me.
The backdoor reintroduction of the statutory rape change relies on the use of a committee report, a document that congressional committees produce outlining what they intend a piece of legislation to do. If there's ever a court fight about the interpretation of a law—and when it comes to a subject as contentious as abortion rights, there almost always is—judges will look to the committee report as evidence of congressional intent, and use it to decide what the law actually means.
In this case, the committee report for H.R. 3 says that the bill will "not allow the Federal Government to subsidize abortions in cases of statutory rape." The bill itself doesn't say anything like that, but if a court decides that legislators intended to exclude statutory rape-related abortions from eligibility for Medicaid funding, then that will be the effect.
You can read more about it here.