The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

House Committee Schedules Hearing on Bill, Boehner Refuses to Discuss

Controversy over the Legislation’s Provisions Seeking to Redefine Rape Put Boehner on the Defensive


Today, the Judiciary Committee constitution subcommittee announced it
will hold a hearing on H.R.3, often referred to as the "Stupak on
Steroids" bill, on Tuesday, February 8. This announcement comes as
Speaker John Boehner, who made H.R.3 a top priority, is refusing to
answer reporters' questions about how one of the bill's many egregious
provisions would redefine rape.

As reported by many media sources, 173 members of Congress, including
Boehner, have cosponsored H.R.3. The bill would narrow the already
severely limited rape and incest exceptions in the Hyde amendment, which
bans federal funding for abortion care. This new restriction would deny
Medicaid coverage for abortion to survivors of statutory rape and any
incest survivor who is 18 years of age or older. A redefinition of rape
would also affect federal employees, military women, and women who buy
insurance through the newly formed exchanges being developed under the
health-reform law.

"This hearing reinforces just how out of touch John Boehner and other
anti-choice politicians are with our country's values and priorities,"
said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "This hearing
will also bring more attention to Boehner's refusal to answer questions
about how this mean-spirited bill creates even more obstacles to medical
care for rape and incest survivors.

Keenan said the extreme legislation is an example of how elections
have consequences. Many of the bill's sponsors are new members of
Congress who replaced pro-choice members. This group includes Reps. Ann
Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y), Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Cory Gardner
(R-Colo.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), Adam Kinzinger
(R-Ill.), and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.). These new anti-choice members also
are among the sponsors of this bill.

"This hearing could be the first step in passing this bill in the
House. As a result of the 2010 elections, there are far more
anti-choice members than pro-choice allies," Keenan said. "Now is the
time for all Americans to tell their representatives that such a callous
and heartless bill is unacceptable."

Find out more information about H.R.3, also referred to as the "Stupak on Steroids" bill.

For over 50 years, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for everybody. Reproductive Freedom for All is powered by its more than 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.