A controversial new law introduces the so-called rape clause without any legal processes. The proposal requires women who were rape victims and subsequently had children due to the assault to verify whether they would like to claim tax credits for the third and subsequent children that were conceived as a result of rape. In the parliament, there was no discussions or debates, and the appalling clause has been introduced together with new restrictions that were brought on tax credit entitlement just late Wednesday and as an amendment to an existing act. It is also expected that within a month the plans will come into effect.
The MP who first took notice of this shocking practice was Allison Thewliss, the SNP MP. She stated that this was a parliamentary tactic that was completely unfair and underhand, used to introduce new measures without any scrutiny. She continued that the Department for work and pensions was not asked to decide and judge on whether someone has claimed exemptions by a rape assault.
Another thing which is bothersome is that all of this happened without parliament’s approval. The tax credit entitlement for new claimants provides tax exemptions for more than two children and women who have evidence that the third, or their subsequent children, were the result of rape assault. It also requires that a professional third-party including health workers, social workers, great charities and police workers would confirm this exception which would be assessed by the government.
Refusing The New Rape Clause
The MP Thewliss also called out the government to refuse this policy as immoral and unworkable. She is also appalled by the medieval parliamentary procedures which obviously took place. Since then numerous MPs and women's charities have also reacted calling this bill to be dropped.
In addition to that, it would also require a team of professionals which would determine whether the woman has been a victim of rape, and such professionals are not currently at our disposal. Even though the department that had brought this bill only tries to control public spending in the most effective and compassionate way, this has obviously been a huge mistake that should be corrected right away.
Thankfully, many rape charities and women charities have responded, because this will have a negative impact on victims of rape who only require professional health and social care guidance and support. Our society has to show a more humane approach to rape victims, and it is shocking how new introductions such as this one were brought without even a discussion in the parliament.