There is an elementary aspiration which undergirds the humane impulse in our history and our culture and binds us together as political activists. This is a simple, irreducible, indisputable aspiration. It is the 'dream of justice' for a beloved community, in which the level of terror in people's lives is sharply reduced or maybe eliminated. It is the belief that extremes and excesses of inequality must be reduced so that each person is free to fully develop his or her full potential. This is why we take precious time out of our lives and give it to politics.
Idaho Republican Rapist Protection Act
UPDATED 3/18: News today of the discovery in Republican federal legislation to turn the IRS into abortion investigators.
The proposed law, also known as H.R. 3, extends the reach of the Hyde Amendment—which bans federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake—into many parts of the federal tax code. In some cases, the law would forbid using tax benefits—like credits or deductions—to pay for abortions or health insurance that covers abortion. If an American who used such a benefit were to be audited, Barthold said, the burden of proof would lie with the taxpayer to provide documentation, for example, that her abortion fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortions.
The legislation in question is Idaho Senate Bill 1148, aimed principally “to prohibit the abortion of an unborn child of twenty or more weeks postfertilization age.”
One of the provisions of the bill (section 18-508-1), not highlighted in the statement of purpose, says this: “Any woman upon whom an abortion has been performed in violation of the pain – capable unborn child protection act or the father of the unborn child who was the subject of such an abortion may maintain an action against the person who performed the abortion in an intentional or a reckless violation of the provisions of this chapter for actual damages.” (emphasis added)
Senator Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, had a question for the attorney general’s office: Does that mean a rapist could sue an abortion provider. The reply (in an informal but researched opinion): “Section 508(1) is unambiguous on this score and, as currently drafted, provides a private right of action to the biological father without exclusion. The answer to your question is therefore in the affirmative.”
Idaho Republican legislators will interfere in the most heart wrenching personal matters involving the most vulnerable people, unless, of course, those people are actually alive and who line up to talk to them personally. In that case they will pat themselves on the back for providing due process as they send them packing.