N.M. bill criminalizes rape victims, critics say
By The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, 9:30 p.m.
SANTA FE — Women's rights groups and Democrats condemned a New Mexico Republican's proposal on Thursday that they say could lead to felony charges against rape victims seeking an abortion, but the legislator maintained her measure was being misrepresented.
Rep. Cathrynn Brown of Carlsbad said she'll revise the legislation and had intended to make it a crime for a rapist in cases of incest to force a pregnant victim to have an abortion or to arrange for the abortion. She said her proposal “was never intended to punish or criminalize rape victims.”
The bill says the crime of evidence tampering “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.”
New Mexico Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales called it an “atrocious piece of legislation.”
“This bill is wrong and should never see the light of day in any legislature in this country, let alone New Mexico,” said Gonzales. “The war on women in America has to stop. No woman should ever be forced to carry a child for ‘evidence,' plain and simple.”
The legislation was guaranteed to face strong opposition in the Democratic-controlled Legislature, which historically has rejected proposals to restrict abortion rights.
“This bill, which is nothing but anther extremist attempt to limit abortion, would require counselors, medical professionals, law enforcement and prosecutors to re-traumatize a rape survivor by limiting the options available to her,” said Joan Lamunyon Sanford, executive director of the New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama administration delays decision on Keystone XL pipeline
- Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead, audit finds
- SpaceX supply ship makes Easter cargo delivery to space station
- Iranian envoy officially blocked by law
- Wyatt Earp gun sells for $225K at auction
- Records exonerate ‘X-Men’ director, attorney says
- Judge strikes down Minnesota’s anti-coal law as unconstitutional
- Grandmother left vengeful note in boys’ slayings, then committed suicide, police say
- Colorado deaths stoke marijuana worries
- Nevada standoff over cattle ends as feds back down
- Feds: Safety concerns led to end of Nevada cattle roundup