Remember New Mexico State Rep. Cathrynn Brown who proposed a bill that would criminalize abortion in the cases of rape as “tampering with the evidence?” Well, after a monumental backlash via the internet, Brown has changed her position – although not by much.
Instead of throwing women in jail for an abortion procedure following a rape, she’s decided it would be better to just throw the doctors, the nurses and anyone else in the pokey who may assist a woman with an abortion procedure after being raped, because abortion is so NOT illegal. The state’s Democratic Party released a statement on Friday after Brown attempted to revise the bill:
Today, after a national uproar over her attempt to criminalize rape victims who choose not to carry their rapist’s baby, Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R – Carlsbad) announced that she was amending her legislation to specifically exempt the mothers of fetuses from being prosecuted.
According to news reports, Rep. Brown is adding the language “In no circumstance shall the mother of the fetus be charged under this subsection” to HB 206.
The problem? She is not removing the onerous language that caused these problems to begin with. Not only does her bill now contain two completely contradictory clauses, it also leaves the door open for Brown and the rest of the fringe wing of the Republican Party who are determined to use criminal statutes to dictate a woman’s private health choices.
By leaving the language in – when removing it would have solved this particular problem just as easily – Brown and her co-sponsors may have revealed what their original intent was all along: arresting and charging doctors and nurses who “facilitate” abortions with a felony.
“Either Cathrynn Brown thinks we can’t read or she’s trying to pull another fast one,” said Scott Forrester, DPNM Executive Director. “After getting busted on the national stage for a bill that would criminalize rape victims, Brown walked it back about as fast as she could. But her “fix” is nothing of the kind. The bill still makes it a crime to “facilitate” an abortion for a woman who wants one, bottom line. 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.
Let’s just call this a fast one. As I said in a previous post, this is not a misstep, this is not a stutter; this fits in so nicely, so snugly with the Republican strategy of trying to circumvent Roe v. Wade rather than challenge it head-on, you might as well just wrap it up and slap a bow on it.