Thursday, May 03, 2012

House Bill H.R. 3 Punishes Victims of Rape and Disproportionately Impacts African American Women

Rape is one of the most heinous crimes an individual can commit, specifically as attack on women. Unfortunately it seems that the majority male dominated Republican members of the US House of Representatives do not consider Rape as an unconscionable act.

 Last May, the U.S. Congress passed the Republican proposed H.R.3, the “No Taxpayer Funding
for Abortion Act.” To state it lucidly plane, it is an anti-choice bill that some have even described as being “pro-rape.” In essence, the GOP in the House have via law, legislated a mandate rooted in Christian dogma that abortion is a sin. H.R. 3, although labeled as an anti-abortion bill, contains a provision that says rape had to be “forced,” as if there can be any other kind of rape. In addition, it contains provisions that allows for the IRS to monitor and audit all public and private attempts to fund abortions even in the case of both of rape and incest, something that will be in a position to have a major impact on African American women subject to domestic and sexual abuse and assault.

Although about 80% of all victims are white, African American women are raped and more likely to be attacked than any other ethnic group. Moreover, children are at risk. In 2000, nearly 88,000 children in the United States experienced sexual abuse. According to the Violence Against Women, Report published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Justice 18% are black and around fifty percent of all rape victims are in the lowest third of income distribution. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) African American students are significantly more likely than white students to have been forced to have sexual intercourse.

According to medical reports, the incidence of pregnancy for one-time unprotected sexual intercourse is 5% which equals more than 3200 pregnancies that occur as a result of rape.

The main sponsor of the bill was Chris Smith (R-NJ). The bill obtained support and votes from all except five Republicans who were not in attendance for the vote in addition to sixteen democrats. However, what the Bill ignores is that although rape is about forcing sex on an unwilling individual, it does not always have to involve brute force. It can also be accomplished by making a victim physically unable to resist via alcohol or drugs, or the threat of force. It can also be accomplished by emotionally manipulating helpless children or adults who may have diminished mental capacities, or in the example of inmates, where there is an imbalance of power as in the case of guards vs. inmates.

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