Rape pregnancies must not be terminated as it would be ‘tampering with evidence’

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A REPUBLICAN lawmaker in New Mexico offered an extraordinary explanation for introducing a bill this week that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to full term.
Foetuses that were the result of rape, said Cathrynn Brown, constituted “evidence of a crime”.

If  House Bill 206 becomes law, a rape victim who ended her pregnancy would be charged with a third-degree felony for “tampering with evidence.”

The bill says:

Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a foetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.

Third-degree felonies in New Mexico carry a sentence of up to three years in prison.

Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive non-profit opposing the bill, yesterday called it:

Blatantly unconstitutional. 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 who are ‘legitimately raped’ will now have to carry the foetus to term in order to prove their case.

The bill is unlikely to pass, as Democrats have a majority in both chambers of New Mexico’s state legislature.

Written By: Barry Duke
continue to source article at freethinker.co.uk

47 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, the proposal is such a thinly-veiled attempt to impose a religious and so-called “pro-life” view it amazes me they thought it would actually work. How else can one explain something so monumentally stupid?

  2. Sometimes I wonder why I moved to New Mexico!

    This women has tried to fix this bill instead of just dropping it. It seems the ” fix ” would implicate health care providers in evidence tampering if they provide abortions, or so some layers have said in the local paper here in Albuquerque.

  3. In reply to #2 by Neodarwinian:

    Sometimes I wonder why I moved to New Mexico!

    To enjoy the hot air balloon festivals, art walks in Santa Fe, and an occasional dip at Ojo Caliente!

    This woman sounds very Catholic.

  4. “introducing a bill this week”

    This coincides with the week long right-to-life activism per 40th anniv Roe v Wade; culminating Friday with a march at Capitol Hill and Catholic masses out the wazzoo.

  5. This is so fantastically stupid! The courts should wait for nine months to decide whether a rape has taken place, and the only admissible evidence is a kicking and screaming little baby that better look like the rapist? What about all the evidence collected immediately after the rape? DNA evidence is no good? Tod Akin in Missouri, Mourdock in Indiana and now this imbecile in New Mexico, the Republicans sure seem to like political suicide.

  6. In reply to #6 by prietenul:

    This is so fantastically stupid! The courts should wait for nine months to decide whether a rape has taken place, and the only admissible evidence is a kicking and screaming little baby that better look like the rapist? What about all the evidence collected immediately after the rape? DNA evidence is no good? Tod Akin in Missouri, Mourdock in Indiana and now this imbecile in New Mexico, the Republicans sure seem to like political suicide.

    DNA evidence isn’t always available in rape cases. Thanks to shows like C.S.I. and the myriad books about forensic procedure available, many sex offenders know to do a clean up after the assault, removing any trace of their presence from their victim’s body.

  7. According to this recent article from the New York Times, a foetus’s paternity can be determined as early as eight or nine weeks into the pregnancy, without even the necessity of an invasive procedure. So good news, Rep. Brown, there’s absolutely no justification for insisting that a rape victim’s pregnancy be brought to term. You’ll just have to amend your bill so it says a woman has to prolong the shame and indignity of living with the evidence of her attacker’s assault for a mere two months before she has a chance to start moving on with her life rather than the nine you thought was necessary.

  8. If you follow Brown’s logic (to its absurd end), a victim of rape who became pregnant should do two things: expedite the legal process by having an abortion as soon as possible; pass the “evidence” (aborted fetus) over to the police. By doing this, she would avoiding any possible accusation of perverting (or delaying) the course of justice (by going the full term of pregnancy) or aiding an offender (by “concealing” the “evidence” in her stomach).

  9. Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a foetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.

    Surely the bit in bold means no woman will actually be charged as a DNA sample can be taken from the aborted foetus which would mean that the women had no intent.

    Michael

  10. In reply to #6 by prietenul:

    This is so fantastically stupid! The courts should wait for nine months to decide whether a rape has taken place, and the only admissible evidence is a kicking and screaming little baby that better look like the rapist? What about all the evidence collected immediately after the rape? DNA evidence is no good? Tod Akin in Missouri, Mourdock in Indiana and now this imbecile in New Mexico, the Republicans sure seem to like political suicide.

    What makes you think they want to see the baby ? If you read the bit quoted the crime is the abortion being perfomed with the intent to destroy evidence. Surely that evidence is the DNA of the foetus? Nothing about the abortion by itself being a crime.

    Michael

  11. It seems she is [backing down](“A person who commits sexual penetration or incest and who procures an abortion of a fetus resulting from the crime with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime is guilty of tampering with evidence, prohibiting prosecution of the mother of the fetus … In no circumstance shall the mother of the fetus be charged.”) due to public pressure or as she puts it she is horrified to discover there is a drafting error and what she meant to say was

    “A person who commits sexual penetration or incest and who procures an abortion of a fetus resulting from the crime with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime is guilty of tampering with evidence, prohibiting prosecution of the mother of the fetus … In no circumstance shall the mother of the fetus be charged.”

    So it only applies if the rapist is the one procuring the abortion.

    Michael

  12. In reply to #9 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #6 by prietenul:

    This is so fantastically stupid! The courts should wait for nine months to decide whether a rape has taken place, and the only admissible evidence is a kicking and screaming little baby that better look like the rapist? What about all the evidence collected immediately after the rape? DNA evidence is no good? Tod Akin in Missouri, Mourdock in Indiana and now this imbecile in New Mexico, the Republicans sure seem to like political suicide.

    DNA evidence isn’t always available in rape cases. Thanks to shows like C.S.I. and the myriad books about forensic procedure available, many sex offenders know to do a clean up after the assault, removing any trace of their presence from their victim’s body.

    My sister is a parole officer and we’ve talked about this issue specifically. I don’t know about rapists in particular, I’ll ask her if I remember next time I see her, she’s said most criminals are far too thick to get any benefit whatsoever from any knowledge they might gain from either CSI et al. or the myriad of books on forensic procedure – quite the opposite in fact. She says they are much more likely to plead guilty once they’ve heard the police have DNA evidence which they are going to present to the court.

    On the stupidity of criminals, when we get together, the stories she’s got on the stupid things they do and say make make me laugh until I cry.

  13. According to this recent article from the New York Times, a foetus’s paternity can be determined as early as eight or nine weeks into the pregnancy

    I’m surprised it would even take that long. The second you have a zygote, you have a genome you can sequence.

  14. The bill is unlikely to pass, as Democrats have a majority in both chambers of New Mexico’s state legislature.

    Great, but does this mean that if Republicans had the majority in both chambers, this bill would be likely to actually pass? That’s a scary thought!

  15. Law makers should have to prove they have the intelligence and reasoning to make sound judgements. Looking at some of the attempts I suspect they are appointed after having proved they’ve been living under the fucking stairs for seven years.

    In the UK we recently have a judge who acquited a muslim man of raping a 13 year old because he claimed he’d been raised in a sheltered environment and wasn’t aware of the law. He also said he was raised to believe that women are as worthless as a lollipop dropped on the ground!

    Defendant: There is the case for the defence m’lud, and it must be true because my murdering paedo prophet says so.

    Judge: Did you know you’re not supposed to wear your underpants outside your trousers?

    Defendant: No m’lud I’ve had a sheltered upbringing and know nothing of the real world.

    Judge: It’s obvious you can’t tell shit from shino you poor sod! Case dismissed!

  16. In reply to #15 by mmurray:

    It seems she is backing down due to public pressure or as she puts it she is horrified to discover there is a drafting error and what she meant to say was

    “A person who commits sexual penetration or incest and who procures an abortion of a fetus resulting from the crime with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime is guilty of tampering with evidence, prohibiting prosecution of the mother of the fetus … In no circumstance shall the mother of the fetus be charged.”

    So it only applies if the rapist is the one procuring the abortion.

    Could this not have been an anti-abortion ploy to have a go at doctors?

    Obviously this retard, has made no attempt to study of genetic evidence, or she would know that the genome of an aborted foetus could be analysed and presented as evidence.

  17. Strange? I thought women had a special way of not allowing themselves to become pregnant following ‘true’ rape?

    Surely it follows that if they then fall pregnant they have not been subject to ‘true’ rape?

    The fact of pregnancy being evidence enought that rape has not occurred.

    There is, therefore, no reason for this law, at all.

    Anvil.

  18. In reply to #18 by Jos Gibbons:

    I’m surprised it would even take that long. The second you have a zygote, you have a genome you can sequence.

    Sure but the article is about testing without risk of damaging the foetus:

    The tests analyze fragments of DNA from the fetus that are present in the mother’s blood in tiny amounts. The same approach is now also being used to noninvasively determine the gender of the fetus or whether it has Down syndrome.

    Michael

  19. In reply to #20 by Vorlund:

    Law makers should have to prove they have the intelligence and reasoning to make sound judgements. Looking at some of the attempts I suspect they are appointed after having proved they’ve been living under the fucking stairs for seven years.

    In the UK we recently have a judge who acquited a muslim man of raping a 13 year old because he claimed he’d been raised in a sheltered environment and wasn’t aware of the law. He also said he was raised to believe that women are as worthless as a lollipop dropped on the ground!

    Defendant: There is the case for the defence m’lud, and it must be true because my murdering paedo prophet says so.

    Judge: Did you know you’re not supposed to wear your underpants outside your trousers?

    Defendant: No m’lud I’ve had a sheltered upbringing and know nothing of the real world.

    Judge: It’s obvious you can’t tell shit from shino you poor sod! Case dismissed!

    When I heard about this case, it occurred to me that ignorance of the law has never been considered a valid defence.

    Hopefully the judge will soon be relieved of his duties, because he certainly should know the law. Also, it should still be possible for a higher court to impose a more appropriate sentence.

  20. Surely allowing the foetus to grow/change is tampering with evidence.

    and the accused (the defence, + the alledged rapist) must be allowed to see the evidence!

    ( not that I am a liyer so I would not know, (excuse the spelling)).

  21. In reply to #29 by Agrajag:

    In reply to #8 by Sample:

    Apparently she is a Nazarene…<

    Isn’t that a type of citrus fruit? Or is she just a fruitcake?

    I worked with someone years ago who was “church-shopping” and she told me why she rejected the local Nazarene congregation: “they had a psychologist in the pulpit one day reading from a text book, not the bible.” Last I knew she chose the Baptists. At the time, as a Catholic, I thought a psychologist in the pulpit was probably sensible.

    Mike

  22. So, if the fetus has to be carried to term, as it is evidence in the case, what happens after it is born?
    Does it belong to the state?
    Will the state be keeping it filed away with the other evidence and, as many rapists are serial rapists, its half-brothers and half-sisters, and attending to their care?
    Does it become the property of the rapist after he is eventually released?
    What happens in the case of gang rape? Is only the ‘father’ charged, and the rest released because of ‘lack of evidence’?

    What are these people thinking?

  23. In reply to #31 by glenister_m:

    Does it become the property of the rapist after he is eventually released?

    As someone on the link said, obviously when born, the baby will be placed in a plastic bag labeled Exhibit A.

    Mike

  24. Looks like all commentators missed the absolute hypocrisy further down the page of the subject article which alludes to a Catholic Hospital in Colorado facing a lawsuit over the death of a mother and Twins. It seems the Catholic Hospital successfully argued a fetus is not a person in direct contradiction to Catholic doctrine that states life starts at conception.
    And they claim the moral high ground! It would seems their gang of thieves make up the rules to their convenience as they go along. Disgusting! jcw

  25. In reply to #33 by kaiserkriss:

    Looks like all commentators missed the absolute hypocrisy further down the page of the subject article which alludes to a Catholic Hospital in Colorado facing a lawsuit over the death of a mother and Twins. It seems the Catholic Hospital successfully argued a fetus is not a person in direct contradiction to Catholic doctrine that states life starts at conception.
    And they claim the moral high ground! It would seems their gang of thieves make up the rules to their convenience as they go along. Disgusting! jcw

    Good catch. That’s a story in its own right and I just figured it would properly show up as its own submitted topic here eventually. That action, yet again, displayed the “do as I say, not as I do” attitude of that church. It is despicable. That story must never be forgotten. It destroys their entire argument (as if they had a reasonable one).

    Mike

  26. Does she expect the rapist to go free until 9 months are up because there would be ‘no evidence’ to hold them? I would think that there would already be laws on the book covering a criminal trying to destroy evidence.

  27. In a rational world, all rape-induced pregnancies would be aborted as early as possible, as a matter of course, at the state’s expense (recovered from the perpetrator, if possible). To do otherwise is to leave a niche for a “rapist gene” to flourish. Anyway, criminals aren’t supposed to be allowed to profit from their crimes – drug dealers get their mansions, yachts and stuff confiscated – so how come a rapist can be allowed to profit by passing on his genes by his criminal actions?

  28. In reply to #33 by kaiserkriss:

    Looks like all commentators missed the absolute hypocrisy further down the page of the subject article which alludes to a Catholic Hospital in Colorado facing a lawsuit over the death of a mother and Twins. It seems the Catholic Hospital successfully argued a fetus is not a person in direct contradiction to Catholic doctrine that states life starts at conception.
    And they claim the moral high ground! It would seems their gang of thieves make up the rules to their convenience as they go along. Disgusting! jcw

    I saw that one on Twitter. Totally hypocritical. We need to get the RCC out of teaching, health and the UN.

    Michael

  29. In reply to #4 by bluebird:

    This coincides with the week long right-to-life activism per 40th anniv Roe v Wade; culminating Friday with a march at Capitol Hill and Catholic masses out the wazzoo.

    Sounds like the pro-ignorance bunch!

    Can’t think, can’t do research, – can’t spell: – RITE TO LIFE!

  30. The trouble with teaming up with the lunatics is that they’re still lunatics and will happily prove it. Looks like that safe voting block of religious nutters is all that they said they were. Not so clever now is it Republicans?

  31. Apparently…
    She finally realized that the bill would die the death, and the backlash was vitriolic in condemnation of such a dumb and flawed premise, so she simply reintroduced it, this time with the proviso that the woman would not be prosecuted, but the doctor that performed the operation with the same crime of destroying the evidence.

    Well someone voted this ignorant troll into office…what can you say?

  32. In reply to #44 by Jon Snow:

    Apparently…
    She finally realized that the bill would die the death, and the backlash was vitriolic in condemnation of such a dumb and flawed premise, so she simply reintroduced it, this time with the proviso that the woman would not be prosecuted, but the doctor that performed the operation with the same crime of destroying the evidence.

    This is exactly what I heard Sarah Palin say a few years ago when she was talking about recriminalizing abortion. She sounded so compassionate and reasonable until you realized that the effect would be the same: desperate women dying because they went to unsanitary backstreet abortionists.

  33. Blatantly unconstitutional. 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 who are ‘legitimately raped’ will now have to carry the foetus to term in order to prove their case.

    I think that says it all right there as far as the legal consequences of such a reprehensible notion.

    As for the extremes of the pro choice notion, is there no limit to the pervasiveness of religious ideology in the affairs of the law? This is not the place for a religious position to take precedence over the lives of women, though obviously it doesn’t keep them from trying. A very revealing portrait of how little these pro life ideologues really care about anything other than their belief, to say nothing of how little value women seem to have. This person has no business in government.

    A terrifying combination of pathetic, loathsome, and disturbing

  34. In reply to #19 by Aztek:

    The bill is unlikely to pass, as Democrats have a majority in both chambers of New Mexico’s state legislature.

    Great, but does this mean that if Republicans had the majority in both chambers, this bill would be likely to actually pass? That’s a scary thought!

    Stuff like this does pass. It then has to be challenged in the various levels of courts, and depending on the resources of the supporters and/or opponents, it can go all the way to the supreme court, who then declare it unconstitutional. Usually. That’s why (elections aside) the US conservative movement has been working to fill the court with “reliable” judges.

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