NM bill classifies post-rape abortion as 'evidence tampering'Posted: Updated:
A New Mexico lawmaker says the intent of her bill that classifies babies of rapes as evidence is to stop rapists and people who are committing incest, but her proposal is drawing controversy.
Critics claim Rep. Cathrynn Brown, R-Carlsbad, of trying to criminalize abortions.
The bill states "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."
The bill could put rape victims behind bars for up to three years if they got an abortion to cover up rape or incest.
"I was shocked in reading it but then as an attorney, I started looking at it and thought that's not how we gather evidence in a rape anyway, so it doesn't even make sense logically," Rep. Gail Chasey, D-Albuqeurque, said.
Brown later told KRQE that a mistake was made. She blamed the bill's drafter for an error that somehow got past her final review.
"When he fixed some of the tampering language in the bill, somehow it just kind of missed the emphasis I thought I'd made clear in the beginning," Brown told KRQE.
Late Friday night Brown updated the bill on her website. The changes prohibited prosecution of the mother of the fetus. However, the bill still indicated abortion in the case of rape and incest would tamper with evidence.