PA to Poor Women: “F$#% You” PA to Rape Victims: “Prove It.”

Think Progress reports on the State Legislature of my home, Pennsylvania:

A Pennsylvania House bill seeks to limit the amount of TANF assistance that low-income women receive based on the amount of children they give birth to while covered under the program.

Despite the fact that low-income women who give birth to children would logically need increased assistance to care for their larger family, Pennsylvania lawmakers — State Reps. RoseMarie Swanger (R), Tom Caltagirone (D), Mark Gillen (R), Keith Gillespie (R), Adam Harris (R), and Mike Tobash (R) — don’t want their state’s welfare program to provide additional benefits for that newborn.

Why?  Probably because of all those damn welfare cheats that keep pumping out kids so their benefits keep increasing.  Based on my own research, I can confidently state that the PA Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is so generous that by the time you push out kid number six, you live in a McMansion and eat truffle stuffed lobster for every meal.  Kid number 7 brings a personal chef who cooks steaks for your dog every day, and kid 8 bestows a Mercedes or a Lexus for each member of the household of legal driving age.  While I stopped reading at that point, I can only assume that child 9 comes with a butler and limo driver, while the magical 10th rugrat results in your addition to the Forbes 500 list.  Clearly, this is a problem that needs to be dealt with.  Thank God these brave lawmakers are willing to take a potentially politically suicidal hardline against the most powerful special interest group in the nation; the poor.  Someone needs to stand up to those suffering in poverty!  Make food stamps only able to purchase ramen noodles!  Take away the Earned Income Tax Credit if they own a television!  Make them ineligible for LIEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program) if they own an air conditioner!  They should have saved that extra heat during the summer for the winter.  Damn poor people, never planning ahead.  If they can’t afford contraception, then they need to stop having sex.  And if they can’t stop having sex (which I am sure they can’t since they are filthy little animals with no self-control.  What other possible excuse do they have for being poor in this land of opportunity?), then perhaps we need to start talking about forced sterilization.  I mean, we already spay and neuter dogs and cats in this country to limit population, and they aren’t anywhere near the problem these lazy, shiftless poor people are to the productive members of society.

Why would poor families need money to raise their poor children?  No social reproduction to see here, move along.  We’re a nation of upward mobility!

And it isn’t like these lawmakers are heartless monsters or anything:

If a woman gives birth to a child who was conceived from rape, she may seek an exception to this rule so that her welfare benefits aren’t slashed,

See?  They care!  Oh, wait.  There is a comma at the end of that quote.  Why do I get a bad feeling that there is going to be a “but” after that comma?

but only if she can provide proof that she reported her sexual assault and her abuser’s identity to the police.

Christ on a fucking pogo stick.  What is this fascination with “legitimate” or “honest” or “forcible” rape?  Is it now a right wing meme that there are droves of women claiming they were raped in order to game the system?  Or is it a preemptive strike against the waves of false claims they expect as they continue to take away women’s rights and punish them for being women?

The language of the bill goes on to note that a sexual assault victim applying for an exemption will be required to sign a statement affirming she understands that “false reports to law enforcement authorities are punishable by law,” and stipulates that Pennsylvania will report any “evidence of false statements or fraud” to the correct department, all the way up to the Attorney General’s office.

“‘Legitimate Rape’: It’s not just about abortion anymore!”  -suggested slogan for the modern GOP

Aside from punishing women who have children — particularly low-income women who may not have reliable access to affordable contraception — the proposed bill perpetrates a dangerous attitude toward survivors of sexual assault. Forcing women to prove the legitimacy of their sexual assault, and warning them about the serious consequences of “crying rape” to cheat the system, puts forth the misguided assumption that victims of sexual violence are not to be believed. Furthermore, countless women choose not to report their rapists to the police because they fear repercussions from their abusers, who could threaten their lives. An estimated 54 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to the authorities.

“No abortion, No contraception, No equal pay, No assistance, no problem!  Vote Republican, get back in the kitchen, and make me a sandwich 2012” -another suggested slogan for the modern GOP

I wish I lived in one of these lawmakers districts so I could vote them out of office.  Especially this guy: Tom Caltagirone (D).  Democrats of Berks County?  Time to primary this disgrace.


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