Koror proposed “KWIC Act” turns into discussions on rape victims
A Koror State legislator said that “if a woman is raped and doesn’t have the sperm pumped out of her and becomes pregnant, it wasn’t a rape, she wanted the act,” in response to a discussion of a proposed bill to provide support, such as food and milk, for children of mothers who have limited capacities to support their children.
In a journal of KSG Legislature deliberations provided to this paper, a discussion of a proposed bill called “KWIC ACT”, a program focused on providing aid to Palauan infants and women caring for infants, turned into the discussion of eligibility criteria of potential recipient of this assistance if it becomes a law.
Concerns about creating a welfare dependency to who can be eligible for such program were raised. Discussing eligibility and needs, a scenario of woman who is raped and have to raise a child was raised as an example.
Legislator Ignacio Rengulbai had earlier voiced concern that such bill may promote pregnancy out of wed-lock or increase dependency on welfare and takes away parental responsibility to their children.
He further added that he didn’t understand how a rape victim could be willing to go thru nine months of pregnancy carrying a rapist’s child. He recommended not using the phrase victims of rape but instead use mothers needing help to describe those who meet criteria of eligibility for the program.
Legislator Jennifer Sugiyama supports the intent of the bill, calling for members to put aside their differences and pass the bill for the better of the people. Citing her own experience as a victim of sexual abuse and rape, she said she can relate to the victims. Furthermore, she said she had worked with women who have been raped but due to their Christian beliefs, did not believe in abortion.
“Nearly three-percent (3%) of rape victims keep the child, I know this cause the Clinic of Dr. Yano does abortions, in fact when I was there, there were cases of girls who come for abortions,” she added.
Legislator Jason Nolan cited other welfare programs managed by the national government such as Senior Citizen Center meals, foods for elderlies, stipend and supplies for disabled and congratulated the author of the bill, Legislator Vierra Toribiong.
Legislator Rengulbai expressed his satisfaction saying that the discussion was healthy but urged to find other sources of funds to fund the program.
The bill passed first reading and was sent to Committee on Youth Affairs.