If you’re on welfare and raped in Pennsylvania, you may be out of luck when it comes to receiving extra welfare benefits. A new Pennsylvania House bill wants 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. But they threw in a stipulation on births that resulted from rape.
The Pennsylvania lawmakers behind the bill include, State Reps. RoseMarie Swanger (R), Tom Caltagirone (D), Mark Gillen (R), Keith Gillespie (R), Adam Harris (R), and Mike Tobash (R). These MEN feel the state shouldn’t provide additional benefits for newborns . Here’s the kicker. If a woman happens to get chosen by god and raped, I’ll call this getting “Mourdocked”, and gives birth to a child, she may seek an exception to this rule so that her welfare benefits aren’t slashed. But that will happen if she can provide proof that the sexual assault was reported as well as the abuser’s identity (because we all know that every rape victim knows who raped them):
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.
On one hand, the law is trying to prevent baby making machines from going forth and multiplying any further, and expecting the state to foot the bill. But on the other hand, Pennsylvania is throwing a monkey wrench into the mix. Maybe Senate candidate Richard Mourdock should let Pennsylvania realize, this is God’s work, and since God created the people who created welfare, then, it’s only fair that the state should get rid of this ridiculous stipulation.
According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network, 54 percent of rapes and sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Last month, New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department considered a similar measure that would have only exempted victims of “forcible rape” from having to file child support claims against an absent parent. Gov. Susana Martinez (R) quickly pulled the “forcible” language after the proposal sparked backlash.
What do you think about the bill?