Cathrynn Brown, W.H. Would like to give you The FingerNew Mexico Rep. Cathrynn Brown on 23 January introduced House Bill 206, which would criminalize "procuring or facilitating an abortion," or "compelling or coercing" someone else to get an abortion after rape or incest, as destroying evidence. The law specifically states "Specifying procuring of an abortion as tampering with evidence in cases of criminal sexual penetration or incest"
The Office of the Republican Governor of New Mexico released the following statement in response:
"Governor Martinez dedicated her career as a prosecutor to being a strong voice for crime victims and would never support any bill that re-victimizes rape survivors,"
Back Pedal Baby, Back PedalOf course, as soon as the proverbial stuff hit the proverbial fan, Rep. Brown started backpedaling furiously, releasing the following statement:
"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," Brown said in the statement."What totally screws that line of reasoning is that in New Mexico, the fetus is generally not used as evidence
"It is not typical that a fetus would be used as evidence in a rape case," UNM Law Professor Antoinette Sedillo said. Testimony by the victim, bodily damage and semen are generally used as evidence in cases of rape"
Text of the proposed law can be found here.
On a lighter note, having lived in New Mexico for six years, New Mexico Magazine has had a long running article titled "One of Our Fifty is Missing". This article highlights anecdotes about people who fail to recognize New Mexico as part of the United States. Such as the woman in Hobbs who was informed by an insurance company call center in Texas, that they do not offer coverage outside of the United States, or companies requesting export paperwork to ship products to New Mexico. Reading some of the stories will certainly elicit a chuckle or two.