Impregnated rape victims who abort would be guilty of evidence tampering, according to a New Mexico legislator who introduced a bill earlier this week addressing post-rape procedures.
The bill, H.B. 206, 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.”
State Rep. Cathrynn Brown, a Republican, says in various media reports that she introduced the bill as a means of punishing rapists who then convince their victims to abort as a means of hiding their crimes. But critics say the bill’s language actually requires impregnated sexual assault victims to give birth, else face felony charge.
The bill allows for violators to be charged with a third-degree felony, which carries a sentence of three years in prison.
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Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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