A Republican lawmaker in New Mexico introduced a bill on Wednesday that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term in order to use the fetus as evidence for a sexual assault trial. House Bill 206, introduced by state Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R), would charge a rape victim who ended her pregnancy with a third-degree felony for "tampering with evidence."Now, since Huffpo broke the story, it's been picked up by other news groups, and the public outcry against this brain-meltingly obvious idiocy has made Representative Brown very sad. She's now trying to explain to everybody how she was being "misrepresented."
Rep. Cathrynn Brown, a Republican from Carlsbad, said Thursday she will revise the bill, which she said was intended to target perpetrators of rape or incest who try to cover their tracks by forcing their victims to have abortions... Although the clause regarding intent would seem to preclude rape victims from being charged, several critics read the bill as possibly including them. Brown said she will clarify the language to remove any ambiguity.Yeah, but while that may be the way she tried to sell it (and I'll give a tip of my hat to Ted for pointing it out to me)... well, in her defense, she's an idiot. Just how often, exactly, does a rapist drag a woman to a doctor to abort his rape-baby? Because, yeah, the way she was selling this to her friends and supporters probably sounded just like that. The version on her own website has been undergoing daily changes since it went up, but has been warm and friendly to the poor beleaguered victim since day one. But the one that was introduced to the state legislature had some... well, let's just call them "inconsistencies" from the story Ms Brown has been trying to sell. See, here's how it was presented:
It then goes on to explain, if you're curious, what crimes will be added (or applied) to everybody involved, with no question about who it is (the rapist, the victim, or the doctor). And that's it. Short, sweet and stupid. So, if you get raped, and then you get an abortion, you go to jail. It's a simple equation. "Ah," but the calm, rational side of you explains, "it's right there in the bill! You have to have 'the intent to prevent the apprehension' of the rapist! Obviously, a victim isn't going to do that, right?" Well, aside from the fact that "calm" and "rational" can rarely be applied to the anti-abortion lobby, let's consider for a minute. There's a term that needs to be applied here: "Thought crime." It's illegal to get an abortion that might tamper with evidence. Unless you can prove that you hadn't intended to tamper with evidence. You have to prove what you'd been thinking about. "But... but... but..." your calm, rational side sputters, not yet willing to give up. "That isn't true! The state has to prove that you were planning to tamper with evidence!" No, afraid not. The state has to prove that you did tamper with evidence, and then show that you might have still harbored feelings for the rapist. (Not hard to do, if it's, say, your dad, or some guy you haven't actively attacked with a knife...) After all, you got the abortion. They can prove that happened. A woman still gets blamed for getting raped if she dresses "too provocatively" or goes to the wrong part of town. We tell women how to avoid getting raped; we don't tell men "don't rape." We just assume that the natural state of man is "rapist." Since he's going to try to have sex regardless of any other factors, it's her job to avoid getting in that position. If you then factor in the concept of "Stockholm Syndrome," please try to explain where this won't go wrong. Women already get accused of fabricating rape charges because they had sex, but then had "second thoughts" the next day. Our society has some seriously messed-up priorities when it comes to rape. _____________ Update (1/28/2013): So, I just corrected the formatting in the text of the bill. I tried to show it the way it was presented on the legislative website (with paragraph B underlined and the rest of it) and just managed to make it invisible. So now it's just shown as text, because some people shouldn't be allowed to use HTML.
AN ACTRELATING TO CRIMINAL LAW; SPECIFYING PROCURING OF AN ABORTION AS TAMPERING WITH EVIDENCE IN CASES OF CRIMINAL SEXUAL PENETRATION OR INCEST. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO: SECTION 1. Section 30-22-5 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1963, Chapter 303, Section 22-5, as amended) is amended to read: "30-22-5. TAMPERING WITH EVIDENCE.-- A. Tampering with evidence consists of destroying, changing, hiding, placing or fabricating any physical evidence with intent to prevent the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of any person or to throw suspicion of the commission of a crime upon another. B. 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. C. Whoever commits tampering with evidence shall be punished as follows: