Shuler, McIntyre back GOP bill that redefines rape in publicly-funded abortion cases
Monday, January 31, 2011 at 12:04 pm
Democratic U.S. Reps. Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina have joined 171 other members of Congress as co-sponsors of H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Federal law prohibits government funding of abortions except in some cases including incest and rape, but H.R. 3 seeks to limit the exceptions to cases of “forcible rape.”
In an article titled, “The House GOP’s Plan to Redefine Rape,” Mother Jones reports on the bill and includes analysis from Laurie Levenson who teaches criminal law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles:
The bill hasn’t been carefully constructed, Levenson notes. The term “forcible rape” is not defined in the federal criminal code, and the bill’s authors don’t offer their own definition. In some states, there is no legal definition of “forcible rape,” making it unclear whether any abortions would be covered by the rape exemption in those jurisdictions.
Five of six Republican members representing North Carolina also co-sponsored the bill: Howard Coble, Renee Ellmers, Virginia Foxx, Walter Jones and Patrick McHenry. There are ten Democratic co-sponsors of the bill.
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