A Republican state lawmaker has proposed a new bill that would make an abortion following a rape a felony by claiming the fetus is “evidence” and an abortion “tampering.” Rep. Cathrynn Brown, a Republican state lawmaker in New Mexico, is working to “legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term in order to use the fetus as evidence for a sexual assault trial,” according to the Huffington Post:
“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 says.
Third-degree felonies in New Mexico carry a sentence of up to three years in prison.
Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive nonprofit opposing the bill, called it “blatantly unconstitutional” on Thursday.
“The bill turns victims of rape and incest into felons and forces them to become incubators of evidence for the state,” he said. “According to Republican philosophy, victims who are ‘legitimately raped’ will now have to carry the fetus to term in order to prove their case.“
UPDATE: Rep. Brown now claims she has re-drafted the bill to ensure women will not be prosecuted if they get abortions.
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