Categorized | National, Politics

GOP Rape Bill Sparks Outrage

 

Proposed New Mexico Law Would Now Prosecute Abortion Providers Instead of Rape Victims

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Santa Fe, New MexicoA Republican state lawmaker in
New Mexico proposed a law last week that would send a
woman to prison for three years on a felony if she had an
abortion after being raped– for “tampering with evidence.”

State Rep. Cathrynn Brown, R-Carlsbad, introduced H.B. 206. It 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.”

The physician and health care professionals who perform the abortion could be charged criminally as well with a felony.

Cathrynn BrownBrown says it’s all a misunderstanding.  She said her intent was not to go after rape and incest victims, but to prosecute rapists and incest perpetrators who coerce women into having abortions.  She said the mistake occurred during the drafting of the bill, and she’s working on a substitute to make it clear the proposal wouldn’t apply to the victims.

Brown is a Carlsbad lawyer serving her second term in the New Mexico House since 2010.  She’s a past GOP chairwoman and has been on the board of Right to Life of Carlsbad, an outspoken
anti-abortion group.

 

Controversy and Outcry

Nine New Mexico House Republicans, all women, signed on as co-sponsors.  The bill quickly caught the eye of ABC News, The Huffington Post, Slate, Courthouse News, and Salon.com.

too farNew Mexico’s state Democratic Party, the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and House Democrats all blasted the bill.

The first to publicize Brown’s bill was the liberal PAC Progress Now New Mexico.  “In addition to being blatantly unconstitutional, the bill turns victims of rape and incest into felons and forces them to become incubators of evidence for the state,” said Pat Davis, the group’s executive director.

Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales called the legislation “atrocious” and demanded, “The war on women in America has to stop. No woman should ever be forced to carry a child for evidence, plain and simple.”

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, moved to distance herself from HB 206.  Responding to a request for a comment, her spokesperson said Martinez, as a career prosecutor, “would never support a bill that re-victimized rape survivors.”

On the national level, Democrats have decried a GOP “war on women” and cited outlandish statements about rape by Republican candidates to bolster that claim.  Some Republicans have said that such missteps by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin and Indiana Senate contender Richard Mourdock cost the party U.S. Senate seats in those states.

 

Revising a Poorly Written Bill

new mexicoIn an interview last Thursday, Brown explained her intention, saying, “I’ve been talking to my constituents in Carlsbad and with law enforcement people, and they say we’re not doing enough to protect women and children.”

Her intent, she said, is to “go after perpetrators of incest and criminal sexual penetration who cover up their crime by forcing girls and women to get abortions.”  Prosecuting rape or incest victims was never the goal of the bill, Brown stressed, adding, “It’s the guy who does the sex crime.”

Brown revised her original bill Friday to specify that victims can’t be charged.

Brown posted the new version of the bill on her personal website.  In the new version of her bill, she added a sentence saying “In no circumstance shall the mother of the fetus be charged under this subsection.”  The original version of the bill, however, is still posted on the Legislature’s website.

The executive director of the state Democratic Party said Friday that the ‘new’ Brown bill still has problems.

“The bill still makes it a crime to ‘facilitate’ an abortion for a woman who wants one …,” said Scott Forrester in a news release.  “That means doctors, nurses, or anyone else who works at a health care clinic where this is one of the services provided would still be guilty of a felony.”

In another twist, Brown on Friday explained to a news reporter how the poorly written bill came about.  She had asked a bill drafter with the Legislative Council Service whether she should include a sentence about not charging the mother.  But, she said, the drafter told her that it wouldn’t be necessary– and prosecutors would understand that.

Brown has said part of the problem was that the original drafter quit his job before finishing the bill, so it went to another drafter.

peppersAsked about what had happened with drafting Brown’s bill and for permission to look at the file, John Yaeger of the Legislative Council Service said, “… we’re prohibited by law from disclosing the nature or contents of any request from a legislator, which includes any conversations, communications and the file.”

Critics of the proposed bill are questioning whether Cathrynn Brown and the New Mexico Legislature are going too far, overreaching for evidence from rape victims that would normally be obtained in other ways while
criminalizing
abortion health care providers.

* * * * * * * *

4 Responses to “GOP Rape Bill Sparks Outrage”

  1. lawyer salary says:

    Fantastic article. Continue the good work.

    • skippy says:

      Thanks, Lawyer Salary. In years past, the GOP used to have a larger tent in which to invite everyone into. Now they’ve become an exclusive club for fewer and fewer folks as of late. The GOP promises they’re going to do better in their outreach attempts. We wish them the best of luck, after mitigating those divisions fracturing their own party from within and working unselfishly for the common interests of the American people, as they did years ago. The same goes for the Democrats.

  2. @yungkashsk says:

    Interesting blog and post here! Great information and good work, well done!

  3. Lawyer says:

    A neighbor of mine urged me to see your site a month or so back because we like the same issues, and I would like you to know I’m impressed.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Just a suggestion: Texas license plates
    Sam Smith - My right of free speech does not allow me to put a political sticker on my neighbor's car. It does not allow me use a portable microphone in the balcony of the Senate or the House during a session of Congress. I can't scream my free speech into my neighbor's window at 2 am. Most people would accept that.So why is it necessary, or e […]
  • Obama suggests mandatory voting
    Christian Science Monitor -  During a town hall meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, President Barack Obama floated the idea of making voting in America compulsory. Mr. Obama suggested compulsory voting in the context of speaking about ways to counteract the role of money in politics."It would be transformative if everybody voted," Obama said."That wou […]
  • Radio Shack planning to sell private customer information
    CBS New York - A report says Radio Shack is ready to auction off customer information as part of its bankruptcy sale.The report says Radio Shack is ready to sell information they have on some 117 million customers, including names, addresses, phone numbers and other details on purchases.This despite the Radio Shack privacy policy, which says “We will not sel […]
  • Over a million killed in America's Mid East wars
    Physicians for Social Responsibility - [Our] investigation comes to the conclusion that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million. Not included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen. The figure is approximately 10 times greater th […]
  • Word: Rahm Emanuel
     Micah Uetricht, In These Times - A photo of Rahm Emanuel grinning widely while an African-American man stood next to him stone-faced, with the caption “The Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel came by my job, still can't stand this muthafucka tho,” drew significant attention on social media. The man, who was reached by In These Times via phone and asked to be […]
  • EU warns: leave Facebook if you don't want Us government spying on you
    Guardian - The European Commission has warned EU citizens that they should close their Facebook accounts if they want to keep information private from US security services, finding that current Safe Harbour legislation does not protect citizen’s data.The comments were made by EC attorney Bernhard Schima in a case brought by privacy campaigner Maximilian Schr […]
  • Report: DEA agents attended sex parties funded by drug cartel
    Huffington Post - Drug Enforcement Administration agents stationed abroad attended "sex parties" that were allegedly funded with money from drug cartels, according to a Justice Department report.The report, from the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General, discloses that seven DEA agents had admitted to attending parties with prostitutes, and th […]
  • Hillary crowd already censoring the press
    Washington Times - The pro-Hillary Clinton group HRC Super Volunteers have warned New York Times reporter Amy Chozick that she is “on notice” for coded sexism and have issued a list of words they believe the press should avoid.“A group called HRC Super Volunteers just warned me ‘We will be watching, reading, listening and protesting coded sexism,’” Miss Choz […]
  • Recovered history: April 1968
    From our overstocked archivesSam Smith - On the evening of April 4, 1968, this 30 year old was up on T Street with a group of anti-freeway protesters picketing the DC mayor's house, when word came of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death. We went home as the police cars poured by filled with shotgun-armed and helmeted cops. The next morning things were qu […]
  • Census: Deaths up, births down, moving back to suburbia
    Al Jazeera America - New U.S. Census Bureau population estimates show a record number of deaths in the previous year, reflecting the aging of the U.S. population. By the smallest margin in 35 years, births barely outnumbered deaths.“With few births and many deaths, more than 1,000 U.S. counties [out of 3,144] had more people die in them than be born,” said K […]
  • Details of anti-American TPP agreement revealed
    NY Times -  An ambitious 12-nation trade accord pushed by President Obama would allow foreign corporations to sue the United States government for actions that undermine their investment “expectations” and hurt their business, according to a classified document.The Trans-Pacific Partnership — a cornerstone of Mr. Obama’s remaining economic agenda — would gra […]
  • Jazz break
     Billy Eckstine sings Prisoner of Love […]
  • Links: Local Washington DC
      DC FACTS DC STORIES SEX & POLITICS IN DC DC BLACK HISTORY  DC STATEHOOD  MARION BARRY DC MOMENTS: A timeline ESSAYS ON DC DC HISTORY DC BLACK HISTORY   DC ALMANAC   DC STATISTICS CONVERSATION LAST CALL: LEAVING DC DC QUOTES The club: how Washington really works TUNES FROM A DC MUSICAL THE ATTICA THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN 1950s THE CANARIES IN STUDIO A  i […]
  • Word
    Give the people a choice between a Republican and a Democrat who talks like a Republican and they'll choose the Republican every time. - Harry S. Truman […]
  • How Mad Men control politics
    Sam SmithAt the presidential level at least, politics as we were taught to understand and admire it is dead. A major cause, of course, has been the financial assault on democracy best characterized by the Citizens United decision. But there is another factor: the replacement of a candidate’s record, history and positions with a brand. It is almost as if voti […]