Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wi.) Argues that Some Women Would Falsely Accuse Boyfriends or Husbands of Rape in Order to Preserve Federally Subsidized Abortion Benefits
Contact: NRLC Federal Legislation Department, 202-626-8820, [email protected]
WASHINGTON, April 1, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- On March 31, 2011, the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives conducted a voting session (called a "mark up") on H.R. 1232. This bill would prevent a number of federal tax credits and tax deductions from being used for abortion, or for health plans that cover abortion, but contains exceptions for abortions sought in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
During debate, one member of the committee, Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin), indicated that he opposed the bill in part because it "could lead to some very perverse unintended consequences," specifically, that women would falsely accuse boyfriends or husbands of rape in order to continue to qualify for a tax-subsidized abortion.
A verbatim transcript of Mr. Kind's remarks follows (he addresses his remarks to Thomas A. Barthold, chief of staff for the Joint Committee on Taxation, who was answering questions from committee members):
Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin): Well, Mr. Barthold, one of my fears of what’s before us today is that it could lead to some very perverse unintended consequences -- almost encouraging low-income women, that would have this benefit denied from them, to file false claims of rape -- whether it's against a boyfriend, whether it's against an acquaintance, perhaps even a husband -- in order to avoid, you know, the consequences that this legislation, the financial consequences that this legislation would bring. And I’m not quite sure how many of my colleagues on the other side have just thought through those unintended results -- the filing of false issues like that.
A video of Mr. Kind's remarks is here -- the transcribed portion begins at about 2 minutes and 5 seconds into the video. The entire exchange runs 3 minutes, 45 seconds.
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), who was present at the committee meeting, offered the following comments:
"It's not a new thing for Congressman Ron Kind to vote to support federal tax subsidies for abortion on demand, as he did again on March 31 -- but he came up with a new argument, that he fears that women will file false rape claims against boyfriends or husbands, in order to qualify for tax-subsidized abortion. It is true that some taxpayers of both sexes sometimes tell lies, but does Kind really believe that lots of women will falsely accuse their intimate associates of a serious crime, in order to get a tax-subsidized abortion? He seems to assume a high level of dishonesty and a low level of common sense among the low-income women to whom he refers, presumably including those residing in his own district. We think it would show more sincerity on Kind's part if he just admitted that he wants to vote to please the pro-abortion activist groups that favor federal subsidies for elective abortion, and stop trying to hide behind ludicrous arguments like this one."
Rep. Kind has served in the House since 1997, during which time he has been present for roll call votes on major pro-life issues, scored by NRLC, on 92 occasions. Kind has voted on the pro-life side only 9 percent of the time. To see his entire history on NRLC-scored issues, click here, then click the "Votes" tab, then click "more key votes."
H.R. 1232 was approved by the Ways and Means Committee by a vote of 22-14, with Rep. Kind voting "no." H.R. 1232 will be combined with a broader bill to permanently prohibit federal funding of abortion, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3). A description of H.R. 3 and a current list of co-sponsors is found here. Recent congressional testimony on the policy issues surrounding federal subsidies for abortion is found here.
For further information on H.R. 1232 and other pro-life issues in Congress, call the NRLC Federal Legislation Department at 202-626-8820, or send e-mail to [email protected].