Hyde and seek on 'forcible rape'
My long wait for a definition of "forcible rape" ended last night with a 7:49 p.m. e-mail from Jeff Sagnip, press secretary to Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.). "The term 'forcible' is going to be replaced with the original language from the Hyde Amendment...," he wrote. Translation: retreat.
Congressional Republicans have been catching hell ever since word caught on that H.R. 3 -- the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" -- would narrow even further federal funding for the procedure by drawing a distinction between rape and "forcible rape" without actually defining what the latter is. And they deserved every minute of it.
The bill will maintain the abortion-funding restrictions under the Hyde Amendment. This still isn't a good piece of legislation, since it would bar folks from using their health savings accounts to pay for an abortion. It would also stop them from availing themselves of tax credits or deductions for medical expenses for an abortion. So, there's still some work to do. But with the unforced "forcible" fight over, House Speaker John Boehner can get the House back on track to helping to solve the nation's economic problems. After all, now that he and his party are in the majority, they have responsibility for answering Boehner's daily question of President Obama for the last two years: where are the jobs?
| February 3, 2011; 11:29 AM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
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