House Republicans agree to drop “Forcible Rape” language from Abortion Bill

Friday, February 4, 2011

WASHINGTON - Republicans in the United States House of Representatives have dropped the word “forcible rape” from a section of an Abortion Bill that is before the House, following widespread condemnation by Democrats and abortion rights activists.

The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” also known as H.R. 3, is a bill that would make permanent the “Hyde Amendment” - a provision banning the use of taxpayer subsidies for abortions that currently requires annual Congressional renewal.

The bill came under fire earlier this week for changes it made to the original language of the amendment - which includes exemptions for women who have become pregnant as a result of rape, incest or life-threatening illnesses. In the language of H.R. 3, only pregnancies resulting from “forcible rape” were exempted. The bill would also limit exemptions among victims of incest to minors only.

Critics of the bill argued that Republicans were trying to “redefine rape,” and that federal coverage for the abortions of rape and incest victims would be dramatically limited.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for the bill’s author, New Jersey Republican Chris Smith, told Politico that he would be changing the wording of the bill to reflect the language of the original provision.

“The word forcible will be replaced with the original language from the Hyde Amendment,” said Smith spokesman Jeff Sagnip. (ANI)

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