This seems like a good piece of legislation to introduce this close to the election, doesn’t it?
In determining the amount of assistance payments to a recipient family of benefits under the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program, the department shall revise the schedule of benefits to be paid to the recipient family by eliminating the increment in benefits under the program for which that family would otherwise be eligible as a result of the birth of a child conceived during the period in which the family is eligible for benefits under the TANF Program. [...]
Elimination of benefits under subsection (d) shall not apply to any child conceived as a result of rape or incest if the department: (1) receives a non-notarized, signed statement from the pregnant woman stating that she was a victim of rape or incest, as the case may be, and that she reported the crime, including the identity of the offender, if known, to a law enforcement agency having the requisite jurisdiction or, in the case of incest where a pregnant minor is the victim, to the county child protective service agency and stating the name of the law enforcement agency or child protective service agency to which the report was made and the date such report was made.
In other words, Pennsylvania Republicans want to eliminate increased welfare benefits for women who have more than one child while still on the program with an exception for rape and incest, but, only if you can prove that you were the victim of rape of incest.
It’s far harder to prove that you were a victim than it should be. In fact, a majority of sexual assaults go unreported and even more go without being prosecuted. This bill would place the burden of proof on women in need at their most vulnerable moment.
Both outcomes of the bill are morally reprehensible, but the latter condition is utterly unnecessary and mean-spirited. And, might I add, we’re only 12 days away from an election where the future of women’s rights may be determined. This bill was introduced in the Pennsylvania House last week.
I interpret recent events as saying Republicans want to force you to carry rape babies to term and then leave you with the bill. Nor do they want to assist you with the other offspring they encourage you to have.