Proposed GA Bill to Refer to Rape Victims as Accusers
Representative Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) introduced a bill that would change the language of state criminal codes to refer to those who file charges for rape, stalking, and domestic violence as accusers, not victims, until there has been a conviction. Carolyn Fiddler, communications director for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, explained recent outrage regarding the bill, "Burglary victims are still victims. Assault victims are still victims. Fraud victims are still victims. But if you have the misfortune to suffer a rape, or if you are beaten by a domestic partner, or if you are stalked, Rep. Franklin doesn't think you have been victimized."
Representative Franklin's bill is the second piece of rape-related Republican legislation to provoke heavy criticism this month. Following an outcry from women's rights groups and others last week, House Republicans removed the word "forcible" to describe the rape exception in H.R. 3, an anti-abortion bill introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Congressional Pro-Life Caucus Co-Chair, with the support of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).
HR 3, which purports to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions and ensure that the healthcare reform law does not cover the cost of abortions, had provided for an exception only when the woman's life is endangered, in cases of "forcible" rape, or in cases of incest if the woman was a minor. The exemption in the bill will now cover all forms of rape.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .