The following commentary by Wayne Root is in response to proposals by the Republican leadership in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood:
Are you aware that the number of rapes now surpasses breast cancer cases? Do you realize a woman or child is raped or molested in this country every two minutes? While politically correct politicians in D.C. wear the famous pink ribbon to acknowledge their sensitivity to the threat of breast cancer, those same men (and women) turn their backs on rape. Worse, they create bills that appear to punish rape and incest victims.
Are you aware politicians are now choosing to cut spending on abortions and medical care for rape and incest victims, instead of where the real money is spent? Are you aware that if they get their way, women will be required to pay for their rape kits and tests after being sexually assaulted? Talk about adding insult to injury. It’s occurring right now, but I’ve heard nothing in the news, or on talk radio. Nothing. The silence is deafening. The support for rape victims appears microscopic. However, there is still an injury attorney Pittsburgh who is dedicated to helping these women gain some form of justice against the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.
Speaker John Boehner, the man who cried through his interview on 60 minutes, has somehow lost his empathy when it comes to rape victims. His wife explained he was emotional about his new appointment as House Speaker. Really? So Mr. Speaker, where are your emotions when fast-tracking a bill on rape and abortion? Do you really want to expend political capital to cut funding for rape victims and require them to pay for their own tests and rape kits? Do you want people to believe that one of your first budget cutting decisions was to eliminate funding for little girls who have gotten pregnant through incest? Why support a bill lumping run-of-the-mill abortion with violent or criminal behavior?
Talk about being politically tone deaf!
Speaker Boehner, have you and your fellow Congresspersons taken a look at the statistics? Do you really want to make a case that this is about women trying to beat the system for a free abortion, rather than about men victimizing, brutalizing, and raping women and children? Do you really want to come across as punishing the victims? Do you really want to debate your opponents who will claim that you force women and teenage girls to have babies conceived during rape or incest? Where’s your empathy for a 12-year-old who winds up pregnant because her Step-Father, Uncle, or mother’s boyfriend decides to rape her? You lump those circumstances in with abortion, as if the teenage girl or rape victim is guilty of a crime or sinful decision? How can you be concerned with rape and violence against women and children in Libya, while men are still violating women’s rights in the Stone Age of 2011 right here in America?
Where is Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Pelosi on this issue? I must admit I’m a big fan of Sarah Palin’s position on the Second Amendment. Maybe if women watched her TV reality show they would learn to shoot a gun, defend themselves, and avoid being victims. But that doesn’t mean Sarah Palin is blameless. While Palin was mayor of Wasilla, the city billed sexual assault victims and their insurance companies for the cost of rape kits and forensic examinations. One of the legitimate functions of local government is to investigate crimes and prosecute criminals. Why bill the victims for a crime scene investigation? Are other victims of crime other than rape routinely billed for the investigation by government? Perhaps Sarah knew nothing about it then. But now that she does, it’s time she takes a stand against it.
While the GOP is fast tracking the HR-3 bill, do they realize last year only 119 abortions in the United States were covered due to rape? I don’t think cutting out the bill for 119 rape victims will help much with the national debt.
As one of America’s Libertarian/conservative and Tea Party political leaders, I’m a big supporter of cuts in spending and the size of government. We need dramatic cuts and we need them now. I’ve publicly suggested 33% across the board spending cuts over the next three years. I’m a supporter of ending Federal government funding of abortions. It is not Washington’s job to pay for abortions. I believe government has a limited role (as defined by the Constitution), and we should move back to that as quickly as possible. But why not first focus our efforts on spending cuts that most Americans can unite behind?
Combining rape and abortion on the same bill makes no sense. While we should never support the Federal government funding run-of-the-mill abortions, let’s at least be smart about this and make clear to the American public that we care about victims of rape or incest. I want to encourage fellow Americans – and that even includes a few Congressmen– to demonstrate you care for these victims by making a personal online donation to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (www.rainn.org), or volunteering at a local rape crisis center.
And I want to say two things to Speaker of the House John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the GOP Congress:
First, Americans put you back in power to cut the budget, not to focus on your social agenda, so don’t waste this opportunity by coming across as treating rape or incest victims as criminals.
Second, remember that the majority of Tea Party activists are women. And hell hath no fury like an angry and violated Tea Party woman!
Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee. He now serves as Chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts.” His web site: www.ROOTforAmerica.com