A newly-proposed Pennsylvania house bill would punish women who give birth while on welfare by limiting their benefits.
The bill is meant to discourage women from having mutliple children while under the state’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.
But the bill provides for one exception. If a woman can prove that her baby was the result of rape or incest, she’ll be exempt for losing benefits.
Women who apply for an exemption must provide proof that they reported the crime to a law enforcement or child protective service agency and they must also sign a statement to show they understand falsifying this information is punishable by law.
Tara Culp-Ressler, of Think Progress, reported on the story earlier today, pointing out that not only do some low-income women not have access to affordable contraception, but the bill also perpetuates 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,” Culp-Ressler wrote.
Thoughts on this incredibly problematic bill?
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