And now, a gift from the Land of Enchantment! New Mexico pro-life state Representative Cathrynn Brown introduced an abortion bill that would make abortion following a rape a third-degree felony because it would be "tampering with evidence."
Squee, another insanely harsh abortion law that punishes women for gettin' themselves raped? Is it my birthday? Ladies, your uterus is an evidence incubator for the State of New Mexico! Fortunately this rapey bill will most likely be aborted, I mean won't be passed, because Democrats hold a majority in both houses, so --
Wait, this just in: Ms. Brown would like to clarify some misunderstandings about the bill.
Yesterday Rep. Brown sent out a statement saying that the point of the bill was to punish anyone who commits rape or incest and then coerces his victim to get an abortion in order to hide the evidence. It's supposed to help deter sex crimes because now you can't tamper with the evidence. And if you look at the wording of the bill, that does seem to be the case:
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.
So it would be illegal for a rapist to coerce a woman to get an abortion. (Huh, didn't know rapists were typically that thorough about hiding evidence.) But could a woman who gets an abortion after rape be prosecuted under this law? No, says Brown, who says she'll clarify the language to make it clearer that it applies to rapists, not to their victims.
So that makes the bill a little less ridiculous. But it's still super creepy that we're referring to a fetus as evidence. In a way, that doesn't seem very pro-life at all. Really, we need to preserve that life because we can use it in court as EVIDENCE? And then what? You've brought another human being into the world. Is the prosecutor going to adopt it, raise it, save for its college education?
If so-called pro-life advocates worked as hard to facilitate adoptions, make birth control more accessible, fund quality prenatal care, and fight for paid parental leave, I would give two shits about their anti-abortion bills. But it's a funny thing -- it seems they're always on the wrong sides of those conversations. It's like the only life worth protecting is that pure, untainted, unborn life. The rest of y'all are screwed.
As long as pro-life advocates keep wasting our times with silly bills like this one (remember "legitimate rape," uteri that kill rape sperm, forced vaginal probes ...), I just cannot take their positions seriously at all. Better luck next time, Rep. Brown.
What do you think of the idea of calling a fetus "evidence" in a rape trial?
Image via the Italian voice/Flickr