New Mexico Lawmaker Bows to Pressure (sort of)

Last week, New Mexico Republican Cathrynn Brown tabled a prince of legislation that would make it a felony offence for a women to remove a foetus from her body, if that foetus might be evidence in a rape investigation. Her name was listed as the primary supporter of the bill, but she was not alone. A  number of her colleagues were right there with her.

Nine House Republicans, all women, signed on as co-sponsors. They are Jane Powdrell-Culbert of Corrales; Dianne Hamilton of Silver City; Anna Crook of Clovis; Sharon Clahchischilliage of Kirtland; Yvette Herrell of Alamogordo; Monica Youngblood of Albuquerque; Kelly Fajardo of Belen; and Nora Espinoza and Candy Spence Ezzell, both of Roswell.

Following the reaction, Brown attempted to clarify

Brown, a Carlsbad resident and a board member of the Carlsbad Right to Life organization, conceded her bill was poorly written. She said her intent was not to charge incest or rape victims with a felony if they terminate their pregnancy.

“I missed this one,” she said, explaining that when she reviewed the draft of her bill, she missed the language problems that led to misinterpretation of her bill.

She said the bill is being reworked for clarity.

An attorney, Brown said her practice is to edit a bill carefully before releasing it. This time, a drafting error occurred and she was not diligent enough so it got through, she said

“I started getting real nasty phone calls from people around the country. Some national publications and TV stations published stories that I was against the victim. That’s far from the truth. I want to protect the victim,” Brown said.

She missed the proofread? There are 39 lines of text in the proposed amendment. Four of those lines contain the pertinent aspects of the bill. That’s  a pretty low reading comprehension level.

But obviously she admitted she made a mistake. Her intention apparently, is not to imprison the rape victim. Instead, the person driving her to the clinic and the doctor are the ones who need to go to jail. Here’s the “improved” text.

Tampering with evidence shall include a person committing criminal sexual penetration or incest procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of the person’s act of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime. In no circumstance shall the mother of the fetus be charged under this subsection.

The goal is the same. If an abortion happens, some one has to go to prison.  She’d like to jail the victim, but that causes too many problems, so instead let’s go after the doctor and clinic employees, and any good Samaritan who helps along the way.


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