A day after proposing a bill that classified having an abortion following rape or incest as “tampering with evidence” constituting as a third-degree felony — and then being shamed by practically everyone for the demeaning and ludicrous nature of the legislation — Republican state legislator Cathrynn Brown in New Mexico took down the initial version of her bill and presented a revised version, saying she’s clarifying the intent of her bill.
Now, instead of charging women who terminate their pregnancies caused by rape with “tampering with evidence,” the updated bill charges state abortion providers for “facilitating” the destruction of evidence instead, according to Salon.
The New Mexico Telegram reported Representative Brown as saying: “House Bill 206 was never intended to punish or criminalize rape victims … Its intent is solely to deter rape and cases of incest. The rapist — not the victim — would be charged with tampering of evidence. I am submitting a substitute draft to make the intent of the legislation abundantly clear.”
In other words, Brown is trying to punish rapists who are attempting to cover their tracks by forcing their victims to abort their pregnancies … by forcing women to bear the consequences of a choice they didn’t make. Totally makes sense, right?
Fortunately, the majority Democrat composition of the New Mexico legislature makes it unlikely that this bill — revised or not — will pass at all. Even in the “revised” version of her legislation, Brown hasn’t changed much other than one line. In other words, women still have to carry children born out of rape or incest, forcing them to act essentially as incubators for months.
The Democratic Party of New Mexico condemned Brown’s proposed legislation in a statement released on Thursday.
"This bill is wrong, and should never see the light of day in any legislature in this country, let alone New Mexico … The War on Women in America has to stop. No woman should ever be forced to carry a child for 'evidence,' plain and simple," state party chairman Javier Gonzales told NBC News.
It is important to note that Rep. Cathrynn Brown is a pro-life Republican, and I’m not entirely convinced that this legislation isn’t also an attempt to limit the number of abortions performed in her state.
A spokesman for the office of New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (also a Republican) told NBC News that Governor Martinez would “never support any bill that re-victimizes rape survivors,” essentially stripping Brown of support from within her own party as well.
In an odd paradox, Brown's attempt to "protect women" takes away their choices instead.