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NM Legislator Wants To Criminalize Abortion In Cases Of Rape And Incest

Submitted by on January 25, 2013 – 9:54 amNo Comment
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State-level Republicans are tenaciously, stubbornly determined to keep saying stupid things about rape and abortion. Seriously. They are like pit bulls with this issue- they just won’t let go. This time, a state assemblywoman in New Mexico has introduced a bill that would make abortion in some cases of rape and incest a felony.

Rep. Cathrynn Brown is claiming that in the case of rape and incest, the fetus is “evidence” for the criminal prosecution of the assailant, and aborting it would be tampering:

House Bill 206, introduced by state Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R), would charge a rape victim who ended her pregnancy with a third-degree felony for “tampering with evidence.”

“Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime,” the bill says.

Third-degree felonies in New Mexico carry a sentence of up to three years in prison.

Brown claims that she is only trying to protect women who might be coerced into getting an abortion after rape or incest. Fair and Balanced Fox News points out that “the clause regarding intent would seem to preclude rape victims from being charged”- so you liberal whiners are just being nervous nellies.

To be fair, Brown immediately said she would clarify the language: the bill now specifically prohibits the prosecution of the mother of the fetus.

But no matter how she adjusts it, Brown’s bill could turn all women seeking abortions into potential “evidence.”  Will each have to prove or disprove the conditions surrounding their impregnation and their “intent?” Will the victims of rape and incest be victimized twice over as they wait in limbo to find out if they are allowed to abort?

It also seems like another conservative solution-without-a-problem. Isn’t coercing a woman into getting an abortion already illegal in New Mexico, regardless of intent?

Maybe the women just won’t report the crimes in the first place to avoid this trouble. Why not just put them in the evidence locker for nine months instead?

The bill is unlikely to pass New Mexico’s Democratically-controlled legislature.

[via Huffington Post]

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