Blog Posts, Past Actions

Dear Congressman Smith: Rape is rape

January 29, 2011

Dear Congressman Smith:

I am writing to you about H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. I ask you to consider that the bill’s language on rape is potentially harmful to all women, whether or not they are seeking abortions.

H.R. 3 specifies, but does not define, “forcible” rape. Because neither the bill nor the Federal criminal code defines “forcible” rape, it is impossible to be sure of what this means. Does it include date rape? Rape in which the victim was drugged to the point of being unable to consent? Rape in which the victim was asleep or unconscious? Rape in which the victim was threatened with force, even if that force was not ultimately used? Rape in which the victim was mentally impaired and could not consent?

All of these situations are rape. Women who have had these crimes committed against them, whether or not they become pregnant, are harmed if we as a society deem their experiences to be something less than “real” rape.

I am asking you to clarify the language of the bill. Rape is sex without consent. Sex without consent is rape. Period.

Thank you for your time.