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. 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, but only if she can provide proof that she reported her sexual assault and her abuser’s identity to the police
Jesus Christ. Here's a sentence I never thought I'd write: Let's leave aside the terrifying pro-rape portion of this bill for a second. Let's look at the fact that this is a bill designed to leave the most helpless members of society—newborn infants—to starve. Previously, Republicans at least claimed to have sympathy for babies. But now they apparently only have sympathy for rich babies.
Now, then. Back to the pro-rape part of the bill. This is a bill that is trying to disguise itself as compassionate by making an exception for rape victims. But it's so fixated on making sure that nobody possibly could get any extra, "unearned" money from the system that it basically ensures that no rape victim would ever try to claim it. There is no compassion here for women, or for human life. The thing I can't figure out about this kind of Republican thought is, why is it worse to believe that a single human being is milking the system for some extra money than it is to know that innocent children are suffering? Why do a few welfare cheats make the whole system of welfare evil? Every system has flaws. Every system has a few people who try to game it. But the fact that some small amount of people might be trying to game the system, when it comes to welfare, makes the whole system illegitimate. And that kind of Republican hatred for the system results in evil bills—yes, evil bills—like this one. This is not the law of a compassionate society. This is barbarism.