A New Mexico legislator says she will file a substitute bill to clarify the intent behind a bill she introduced Wednesday that would make it a crime for a rape victim to have an abortion. Rep. Cathrynn Brown, a Republican who represents the Carlsbad area, introduced a bill Wednesday that would make it a crime for a rape victim to have an abortion, saying the fetus is criminal evidence that must be preserved.
Rep. Cathrynn Brown, a Republican who represents the Carlsbad area, introduced the bill Wednesday.
She is an attorney, a former chairman of the Eddy County GOP and board member of the Right to Life of Carlsbad.
Rep. Brown's bill says procuring an abortion in cases of criminal sexual penetration or incest should be considered "tampering with evidence."
Her bill calls for tampering of evidence charges to be filed against anyone found: "…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."
Brown was elected in 2010.
However, after the bill made national attention Thursday, Brown issued a statement that she said clarifies the intent behind her bill. In it, she said she plans to submit a substitute draft soon. The statement reads:
It has been speculated that this legislation is intended to criminalize rape victims. This is a misinterpretation of the intent of the legislation.
“House Bill 206 was never intended to punish or criminalize rape victims,” said Rep. Brown.
“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.”