Grimm 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]
Grimm Attacked New Health Care Law Over Birth Control Requirement.
According to his official statement, “Rep. Michael Grimm joined colleagues in sending a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius strongly opposing the rule mandating religious-affiliated organizations that offer health insurance to cover contraceptives, sterilizations, abortificacients, even it is a clear violation of their beliefs and conscience rights. ‘As a Roman Catholic, I strongly believe in preserving the sanctity of human life, and this mandate completely violates that belief. I will not tolerate the Obama Administration’s efforts to challenge the conscience and reproductive rights of the Catholic Church, and will do all I can to ensure that this mandate is overturned.’” [US Official News, 02/11/12]
Grimm Voted To De-Fund Planned Parenthood.
On February 18, 2011, Grimm voted in favor of the Pence, R-Ind., amendment to a fiscal year 2011 continuing appropriations bill that would prohibit any funds in the bill from being made available to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. or its affiliates. [Roll Call 93, H 1, 02/18/2011]