|Dear friend of liberty,
I thought I had seen it all from anti-abortion extremists. I was wrong.Late Wednesday, Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R-55) introduced a bill that could criminalize rape survivors who seek an abortion. Under her proposed amendment, the felony crime of “tampering with evidence” would be written to include “procuring or facilitating an abortion…of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.”
That’s right; you can’t make this stuff up. A bill that could force a rape survivor to choose between cooperating in the prosecution of her abuser and terminating an unwanted pregnancy that was forced upon her. Tell Rep. Brown that these kinds of extreme anti-abortion laws have no place in New Mexico.
After a strong initial public backlash to her bill, Rep. Brown is already wavering on this ill advised scheme. She claims that she will edit out the most offensive parts of the bill, but this type of legislation doesn’t belong in New Mexico in any form.
This bill is only part of a wider effort to intimidate women and make accessing safe, legal abortion practically impossible. This legislative session we have already seen a bill that would force a woman to view a medically unnecessary ultrasound and listen to a description of the fetus before she could terminate her pregnancy, and another that would force a young woman to notify their parents before she could access a safe and legal abortion.
Most New Mexicans agree that we should not punish survivors of sexual assault for the crime that was perpetrated upon them. Rape survivors need care and support, not a felony charge.
We can’t let anti-abortion extremists and politicians interfere with private medical decisions that belong between a woman and her doctor, nor can we allow anyone to bully survivors of sexual assault. Send a message to Rep. Brown and ask her to do the right thing and send this bad bill to the trash heap.
Peter Simonson, Executive Director