A New Mexico lawmaker has provoked a very loud outcry all over Thursday morning's media by introducing a bill that would criminalize rape victims who seek abortions.
Republican Rep. Cathrynn Brown introduced House Bill 206, which states that a rape victim terminating her pregnancy would be charged with a third-degree felony. In NM, such felonies carry a jail term of up to three years, HuffPo reports.
The text of the bill reads as follows: "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."Rep. Brown has since said that her intention was misunderstood. She explains, "House Bill 206 was never intended to punish or criminalize rape victims. 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."
The bill as originally worded, however, would have punished the victim. So Brown is now planning to reword her bill, hopefully so as to make clear that victims would not be penalized.