Republicans really need to stop talking about rape.
Rep Cathrynn N. Brown (R-Carlsbad) just introduced House Bill 206 into the New Mexico state legislature, and it is a doozy. The bill would criminalize abortion by a victim of rape as stating it is ‘tampering with evidence.’ Victims of rape who have an abortion would then face felony charges with the possibility of prison time. That means a rape victim would be forced to carry her child to term, as the fetus is evidence of the sexual assault and could be used as such if the case went trial. Any passage of the bill would also mean that the doctors performing the abortion could also be charged with the felony of tampering with evidence.
Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico said the bill would, in essence, force women to become incubators of evidence for the state.
This is just another attempt by Republicans to find ways to criminalize abortion or to intrude into the lives of pregnant women. Prior to election in 2010, Cathrynn Brown served as a board member to the organization the Right to Life of Carlsbad. But Brown would have you think she is doing this to deter sex offenders:
“New Mexico needs to strengthen its laws to deter sex offenders.”
“By adding this law in New Mexico, we can help to protect women across our state.”
Specifics regarding how exactly this bill would deter or protect women across the state have not been made readily apparent. Perhaps Cathrynn Brown would find her time better served finding out ways to prevent all forms of sexual violence. In New Mexico, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 20 men are likely to be raped. In 2010, 15% of adults reported having been forcibly raped at least once.
Not only would this bill not deter rapists or sexual assault, but it also perpetuates the belief that only women can be victims of assault and only men can be perpetrators.
See, this bill has nothing to do with rape, and it has nothing to do with preventing it or protecting women. It has everything to do with finding a different way to criminalize a legal and legitimate medical procedure.
What the introduction of this bill really does is once again highlight the gross insensitivity Republicans have towards women and victims/survivors of rape. The exhaustive list of Republicans who continue to make comments about rape and abortion show just how out of touch they really are.
For once, it would be great if Republicans could realize that outlawing abortion does not and would not lead to lower rates of abortion. For the last time, it isn’t your body and it will never be yours, no matter how many laws you try to pass that say otherwise.