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New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortions for Rape and Incest as “Tampering with Evidence”

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A new bill proposed in New Mexico Wednesday would make it illegal to have an abortion if you are raped or a victim of incest. Such recourse would count as “tampering with evidence,” a third degree felony that carries up to a three year prison sentence.

House Bill 206 was introduced by Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R), which says that “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.”

Pat Davis, a member of ProgressNow New Mexico, told the Huffington Post that “The bill turns victims of rape and incest into felons and forces them to become incubators of evidence for the state. According to Republican philosophy victims are ‘legitimately raped’ will now have to carry the fetus to term in order to prove their case.”

  
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Brown’s explanation is that she wishes to punish those who commit incest or rape and are trying to destroy “evidence.” Some believe it is a creative way for Republicans to slip in laws that limit abortion. However, if the safety and happiness of the fetus were the concern, then the child would come to term with the sole purpose of serving as “evidence” of a heinous crime. If the fetus is mere evidence, then the bill would be similar to expecting a gunshot victim to having to keep his bullet in his body for evidence.

The bill is nevertheless unlikely to pass as Democrats hold the majority in New Mexico’s Congress.

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