Pennsylvania Jumps on Rape-y Bandwagon

It’s no secret that all across America tax revenue is down, the squeeze is on, and local and state governments are scrambling to ease budgetary pressures. Naturally, politicians struggling to balance their budgets are looking to scale back amongst those who have so much already: women and children craftily living below the poverty line.

Welfare witches, as they’re popularly known, are apparently spending much of their free time plotting ways to get knocked up repeatedly so they’ll have yet more mouths to feed and thus get even a bigger windfall from the state. Babies equal money!

If more of the popular lore is to be believed, that money is spent not on diapers, rompers and rash cream, but is instead spent on drink, drugs and debauchery. And possibly Doritos.

Four stout hearted state legislators* have taken it upon themselves to rid the great state of Pennsylvania of this plague of freeloaders. Yes, they’re on to the nefarious scheme and they’re determined to bring it to a grinding halt.

Here’s how: the Fearless Four have unveiled a bill that will disallow any incremental increase in benefits should more children be born to a woman already on the welfare rolls.

You have to admire the lawmakers for getting right to the heart of the matter and bringing the shakedown to a halt: take away their pay check and hey! Presto! No more moneymaking babies! Problem solved.

Now, the Fearless Four are not entirely callous or cold hearted; they understand that sometimes, despite the lack of subsidized birth control, the ongoing war on abortion and the lack of affordable pre-and-post-natal care for the uninsured, sometimes people just – whoops! – get pregnant against their will (perhaps when they’ve neglected to do maintenance on their Anti-Rape-Baby-Making-Barrier-Kits?) so provisions have been made: mother’s who have not cynically added a fresh baby to the brood by actually having sex for fun can get that incremental benefit increase if they’ve managed to get legitimately raped or be an underage victim of incest. Sounds like a good plan to me and, really, it shows that the state really does care.

Naturally, though, the Fearless Four are thinking ahead and realise that any number of these con artists will try to sidestep that little stipulation, so they’ve arranged some hoops which must be jumped through before anyone gets their grubby little hands on the legal tender.

So just how does the raped or incest-ed expectant mother go about proving her baby is legitimately a rape or incest babe? Here’s how it works: if a woman is pregnant as a result of rape or incest she must send a signed statement to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

‘…that she was a victim of rape or incest…that she reported the crime, including the identity of the offender, if known, to a law enforcement agency or, in the case of incest where a pregnant minor is the victim, to the county child protective service agency…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…’

Sure, you’re saying, but what about all those statistics saying rape is under-reported? Pffft to statistics, I say, but if you insist, here are a few:

46 out of every 100 rapes are reported.
12 of those reports lead to an arrest.
9 get prosecuted
5 lead to a felony conviction
3 rapists in every hundred will spend even one day in prison

Sobering statistics, to be sure, and here are the most common reasons why more than 50% of women do not report their assaults: they fear they will not be believed, that they will not be taken seriously, or that they will be seen as responsible for their own assault.

But honestly, what’s a hard-pressed legislator to do? Sit around molly-coddling people who don’t believe in working within a system that clearly doesn’t work? Time to be part of the solution, not the problem, right? Report the crime and to hell with all those Doubting Thomases!

Now, if you look closely, the wording on incest is, I’ll grant you, a tad odd.

‘…Where a pregnant minor is the victim…’

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I’m not quite sure what they’re getting at; does this mean that if someone over the age of majority is impregnated by Uncle Pervy then it doesn’t count? Or does it mean that that an incest pregnancy in a legally adult woman falls into the good, old-fashioned legitimate rape category (providing they can prove it, of course) and is no longer considered incest? I am, admittedly, slightly confused, but since I trust the worthy leaders of the 2nd State, I’ll just stop bothering my pretty little head with those troublesome questions.

How rape got tied up on welfare legislation is anybody’s guess, but to be serious for a moment, let’s look at some more of those pesky statistics:

Less than 2% of Pennsylvania residents receive Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (there’s a 60 month cap on benefits), while just 17.6% of the state’s residents living below the poverty line receive cash benefits. Whilst on the dole recipients must be actively looking for work (applying for a minimum of three jobs a week, although who’s watching the kids while they do this is anybody’s guess) or in approved education.

Looking further, the data shows that the monthly benefit in most counties for a family of three is $403 dollars. Yes, you read that correctly: $403 dollars per month for a family of three. That breaks down to just a smidgen over $100 dollars per week. I’m not sure that would even keep me in wine, but I digress.

So I can see why women would be running around searching for sperm donors in a valiant effort to fund their luxurious lifestyles: life on the dole is just one big shopping spree at Walmart. And if a woman is not the type to try and take advantage but sadly falls prey to a legitimate rape or to Uncle Pervy it’s heartening to know that the good people of Pennsylvania have got her back.

*State Reps. Rose Marie Swanter (R), Tom Caltagirone (D), Mark Gillen (R), Keith Gillespie (R)