FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2011
House Committee Schedules Hearing on Bill Boehner Refuses to DiscussControversy over the legislation’s provisions seeking to redefine rape put Boehner on the defensive
Washington, D.C. – 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.”