One of the classic attacks on today’s third wave feminism is that it fails to really accomplish anything. False. The latest developments surrounding the “No Taxpayer For Abortion” Act would prove otherwise.
The lowdown: Historically, there have always been exceptions made to federal funding for abortions in cases of rape and incest. In January, House Republican Chris Smith proposed a bill limiting federal funding for abortion containing specific provisions to limit federal funding for abortions strictly to cases of “forcible rape.” The implications of such language (i.e. giving lawmakers the ability to decide whether or not a woman fought back hard enough to be considered a rape victim) caused widespread outrage, culminating in multiple petitions from MoveOn.org and EMILY’s List, a twitter campaign, and widespread outcry among editorial columnists.
“bruises and broken bones do not define rape, a lack of consent does.”
and provides this visual to give an idea of some of the bill’s sponsors:
The Result: As of yesterday, the House GOP caved under the pressure of the public backlash and has been forced to remove the “forcible rape” provision from the Smith Bill. The moral of the story here is that your activism can make a difference, even if it’s only at a grassroots level. If you feel strongly about something as a feminist, a patient, a taxpayer, a consumer, etc. — do something about it!