Voters have been making their own feelings felt over what they see as archaic views over abortion by Republican politicians.
One voter, Ilene Seidman, a professor of law said: “I think a victim-blaming culture is still alive and well.”
She was referring to a Bill proposed by a New Jersey Representative that would have forced women to accept the consequences of being raped. The same law would have only made abortion possible for young women under 18 who had incest which resulted in getting pregnant.
Critics argue that the new ‘rape’ bill would force women to prove they had been raped, by showing they had some physical damage such a broken jaw.
Pioneering women’s rights with regard to sexual abuse and crime was begun by the State of Massachusetts who introduced the idea of graduated offences. This ensured that all victims of sexual crime (in the main women) would see proper justice exacted. Pro abortionists believe that anti-abortion laws would set back decades of good work carried out by legal systems in States such as Massachusetts.
Chris Smith’s Bill is not the only bill that has tried to redefine rape to prevent abortion. A similar suggestion by another Republican, Joe Pitts from Pennsylvania was proposed. However Mr. Pitts was forced to drop his amendment, which would have allowed pregnant women to die rather than allows doctors carry out an abortion to save a life. Like the Smith Bill, the reasons for the pregnancy, for example rape, would be irrelevant.
Donna Crane, policy director for the abortion-rights group NARAL, in Washington, told reporters: “The fact that they would put in such a totally unacceptable provision and then swap it out for something that puts women’s lives in danger shows that they think very little of women.”
She added: “They think our lives are worth jeopardizing for their politics.’’
What worries many people as well is that if the Pitts and Smith Bills were passed, they would have altered the constitutional position on abortion. This in turn would have prevented for all time any federal money being given for abortion.
Since 1977, Federal money cannot be paid to women who rely on Medicaid in any case. This already affects the poor.