Miller Co-Sponsored Controversial Bill That Only Provided Abortion Funding For Victims Of “Forcible Rape,” Implying That Some Rapes Were Not “Forcible.”

On January 20, 2011, Grimm signed on as a cosponsor to HR 3, a bill to prohibit the use of federal funds for abortion-related services. One provision of the bill altered the exception in federal law that allowed for Medicaid funds to pay for abortions resulting from rape. Instead, the bill redefined the exception by prohibiting the use of federal funds to pay for abortion services in all instances except cases of “forcible rape,” rather than simply rape. This altered language endangered federal assistance for abortion services in a number of rape situations, such as statutory rape, that might have failed to meet the threshold of “forcible rape.” According to Think Progress, “Last year, Akin joined with GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as two of the original co-sponsors of the ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,’ a bill which, among other things, introduced the country to the bizarre term ‘forcible rape.’ Federal law prevents federal Medicaid funds and similar programs from paying for abortions. Yet the law also contains an exception for women who are raped. The bill Akin and Ryan cosponsored would have narrowed this exception, providing that only pregnancies arising from ‘forcible rape’ may be terminated. Because the primary target of Akin and Ryan’s effort are Medicaid recipients — patients who are unlikely to be able to afford an abortion absent Medicaid funding — the likely impact of this bill would have been forcing many rape survivors to carry their rapist’s baby to term.” The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on May 4, 2011, with Bachmann voting in favor, but no subsequent action was taken in the Senate. [HR 3, 1/20/11; Think Progress, 8/19/12]