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Bachmann 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, Bachmann 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]

Bachmann Opposed Abortion In Cases Of Rape.

According to the St. Cloud Times, “Bachmann, when asked about a rape exception to her anti-abortion stance, named only the life of the mother as an exception she believes should be granted. ‘My position is in line with the Catholic Church,’ Bachmann said. ‘That’s been my position for 40 years. It hasn’t changed.’” [St. Cloud Times, 11/2/12]

Bachmann Presented An Award To Anti-Feminist Phyllis Schlafly, Who Once Argued That There Was “No Such Thing As Rape In Marriage.”

According to the Sun Journal, Bachmann “presented a Citizens United award to anti-feminist activist Phyllis Schlafly, who in 2007 argued that there could be no such thing as rape within marriage because, “by getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape.” [Sun Journal, 3/29/07]

  • Schlafly Worked Against the Equal Rights Amendment During the 1970s and 1980s. According to the Sun Journal, “‘The ERA was a fraud,’ she said, comparing it to the absurdities of the political correctness trend of the 1990s, which also preached gender neutrality. ‘(The ERA) pretended to benefit women, but it didn’t. It was just the nuttiness of feminists who were promoting an androgynous society. They didn’t put ‘women’ in the Constitution; they put ‘sex’ in the Constitution.’” [Sun Journal, 3/29/07]