Abortion opponent Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), co-sponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, was in Chicago yesterday to speak to the City Club.

With the news here focused on the horrific, life-threatening “Blizzard of ’11,” Roskam’s remarks haven’t received much notice. They should.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Roskam, the new chief deputy Republican whip, addressed “controversy over a ban on federal funding of abortions, including a new definition of what constitutes rape.” Roskam, who holds the seat once held by anti-abortion stalwart Henry Hyde, explained that House Republicans planned to push for a federal statutory ban on taxpayer funding of abortions. As the Tribune’s Rick Pearson noted, “The definition of rape as an exception entitled to federal funding has been changed to ‘forcible rape.’ ”

Roskam told the reporter after the event that he believes the bill's language will change. 

One can only hope. “Forcible rape” sounds like a bad, sad joke, and certainly an example of idiotic redundancy. The idea that such a phrase could even be written and made public, preliminary or not, reveals the mindset, at the moment, of the anti-abortion forces.

Correction:  In an earlier draft of this post the writer said that [Rep.] "Roskam told the audience that the 'forcible rape' language will change." Rep. Roskam was not speaking to the general audience at the time but to a reporter who asked him a question after the event. He did not use the words "forcible rape' when answering the reporter's question. The writer regrets the error.