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Coffmann 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, Coffmann 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]

Coffman Affirmed That He Opposed Abortions In Cases Of Rape And Incest, Only Supported Abortion Exception In Cases Where The Life Of The Mother Was In Danger.

According to the Denver Post, “State Rep. Joe Miklosi has called on Coffman, his rival for the 6th congressional district seat, to ‘explain why 70 percent of Coloradans are wrong on personhood.’ ‘Mike Coffman and other supporters of the personhood measure clearly aren’t getting the message that outlawing abortions even in cases of rape and incest is far too extreme for Colorado,’ Miklosi said in a statement Monday. He also accused Coffman of hiding his support for the ‘radical’ amendment. ‘I am against all abortions, except when it is necessary to protect the life of the mother,’ Coffman told the Post. ‘Given the fact I’m running for federal office, I will not be endorsing nor opposing any state or local ballot questions.’” [Denver Post, 8/8/12]

Coffman Stated That “I Wanted To Make Sure That My Position Was Clear, Unequivocally, That I Oppose Abortion In All Cases Of Rape And Incest.”

According to a blog post from Colorado Right to Life, “Last week, while appearing on the Caplis & Silverman radio show (630 KHOW, Denver), Congressional candidate Mike Coffman was heard to say that he did not oppose abortion in cases of rape or incest. This sent CRTL and many other pro-lifers into a tizzy, because it went against what Mike had pledged in his Candidate Survey, as well as what we all thought we knew about Mike’s beliefs. When contacted about this, Mike immediately expressed surprise that he’d said any such thing. He thinks he may have gotten confused and said the opposite of what he meant. While with many candidates, we might suspect evasion, this didn’t seem to be the case with Mike. He has written to attempt to clarify with Dan Caplis, so no one will misunderstand. Here is his note (copied to CRTL): ‘First of all, thanks so much for your help with my campaign and for inviting me on your show. During the debate, Craig Silverman was questioning me on the issue of abortion. My response was focused on arguing that Roe v Wade was bad law. During that exchange, Craig asked me about the issue of rape and incest. Apparently, my answer came across as supporting abortions under a rape and incest exception. I absolutely do not believe in that. Dan, I would deeply appreciate it if, during your show, you could state that I wanted to make sure that my position was clear, unequivocally, that I oppose abortion in all cases of rape and incest. I believe that all life is equally sacred irregardless of how it came into being. Thanks again, Mike Coffman.’” [Colorado Right to Life, 10/29/08]

  • Coffman Stated That “I Believe That All Life Is Equally Sacred Irregardless Of How It Came Into Being.” According to a blog post from Colorado Right to Life, “Last week, while appearing on the Caplis & Silverman radio show (630 KHOW, Denver), Congressional candidate Mike Coffman was heard to say that he did not oppose abortion in cases of rape or incest. This sent CRTL and many other pro-lifers into a tizzy, because it went against what Mike had pledged in his Candidate Survey, as well as what we all thought we knew about Mike’s beliefs. When contacted about this, Mike immediately expressed surprise that he’d said any such thing. He thinks he may have gotten confused and said the opposite of what he meant. While with many candidates, we might suspect evasion, this didn’t seem to be the case with Mike. He has written to attempt to clarify with Dan Caplis, so no one will misunderstand. Here is his note (copied to CRTL): ‘First of all, thanks so much for your help with my campaign and for inviting me on your show. During the debate, Craig Silverman was questioning me on the issue of abortion. My response was focused on arguing that Roe v Wade was bad law. During that exchange, Craig asked me about the issue of rape and incest. Apparently, my answer came across as supporting abortions under a rape and incest exception. I absolutely do not believe in that. Dan, I would deeply appreciate it if, during your show, you could state that I wanted to make sure that my position was clear, unequivocally, that I oppose abortion in all cases of rape and incest. I believe that all life is equally sacred irregardless of how it came into being. Thanks again, Mike Coffman.’” [Colorado Right to Life, 10/29/08]