In fresh dispatches from the world of “you will legally carry every pregnancy to term,” a New Mexico abortion bill introduced yesterday would actually require rape victims to carry the fetus conceived from that rape to term. The reason? The courts need to use your unborn child as evidence for a sexual assault trial to put your rapist in jail.
The Huffington Post reports that Republican Rep. Cathrynn Brown introduced House Bill 206, which would slap rape victims with a third-degree felony (with an up to three year prison sentence) for ending her pregnancy that resulted from a rape.
Apparently, taking advantage of a constitutionally protected right is fiddling with evidence, ladies:
“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.
Brown clarified the intention of the New Mexico abortion bill in a statement today, in which she said she’s looking to punish rapists with this nonsense:
“New Mexico needs to strengthen its laws to deter sex offenders,” said Brown. “By adding this law in New Mexico, we can help to protect women across our state.”
Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, a nonprofit, not only described the bill as “blatantly unconstitutional,” she also highlighted that such legislation forces rape victims “to become incubators of evidence for the state.” Literally!
At present, the bill is deemed not likely to pass since Democrats have a majority in both chambers. But even that doesn’t really put my mind at ease when considering such a deeply troublesome way to seek justice for rape survivors.