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March 25, 2011

Progressive Leaders Call on Boehner to Stop the “Rape Audits” Bill

”Stop The War On Women” joint campaign urges Speaker Boehner stop to H.R.3, legislation that would turn “IRS agents into abortion cops”

Washington D.C. – Today, a coalition of leading progressive organizations is launching a joint effort calling on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to stop a bill that could subject survivors of sexual assault to “rape audits.”

Last week, tax experts told Congress and Mother Jones that the extreme anti-choice “Stupak on Steroids” (H.R.3), a bill that already has more than enough co-sponsors necessary to pass House, could subject survivors of sexual assault who choose abortion care to audits by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). According to Mother Jones, the anti-choice bill could turn “IRS agents into abortion cops.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America is adding its online advocacy efforts to EMILY’s List and Political Action's “Stop the War on Women” campaign to mobilize activists to oppose this latest front in the War on Women currently raging on Capitol Hill. Through April 15, these progressive allies will gather signatures from activists and deliver them in a show of opposition to Speaker Boehner on or near Tax Day.

The news of “rape audits” comes as the latest in a series of revelations exposing the most shocking and appalling elements of the anti-choice House leadership’s War on Women. Speaker Boehner and his allies faced severe public backlash when the original text of H.R.3 redefined rape to make it more difficult for survivors of sexual assault to access abortion care. Another bill, H.R.358, also was exposed for allowing hospitals to refuse a woman abortion care even if her life depends on it.

Speaker Boehner has said that he wants to limit government intrusion in the lives of Americans, yet is calling a bill that could force a rape or incest survivor to relive her trauma with an IRS agent a “top priority.” 

Participating organizations in the campaign to stop the “rape audits” bill issued the following statements regarding their collaborative effort to end the War on Women:

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan: “This latest report illustrates how the House leadership’s War on Women gets worse by the day. Americans have had it, and are spurring into action against Speaker Boehner and the 221 co-sponsors of H.R.3, who will face a public backlash from all over the country come Tax Day and beyond.”

EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock: “Talk about putting government in our bedrooms! The bait and switch Boehner and his allies have pulled on Americans continues with this latest major intrusion into the private medical decisions of women and their families -- at a time when Americans want Washington focused on jobs, not prying into our private lives. Boehner’s Boys will hear from Americans across the country with one clear message: Stop the War on Women. Now.” Political Action Campaign Director Kat Barr: “Forcing rape survivors to prove to the IRS that they’ve been assaulted is inhumane—and just another example of how anti-choice Republicans have no boundaries when it comes to their War on Women. This bill is invasive and reckless—so it’s no wonder so many Americans have spoken out in strong opposition to it, and to Speaker Boehner’s war on women.”

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