Rep. Cathrynn Brown , R-Carlsbad, whose proposed abortion bill would have exposed rape and incest victims to felony charges if they obtained an abortion.
SANTA FE, N.M. (CBS NEWS) -- A Republican legislator came
under fire for her proposed law that, critics said, could lead to felony
charges against rape or incest victims seeking an abortion.
Wednesday Rep. Cathrynn Brown, R-Carlsbad, introduced House Bill 206,
which she said was intended to make it a crime for a rapist to force his
pregnant victim to have an abortion.
Within hours the bill drew national attention for a section that reads:
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."
appear to open up rape or incest victims to felony charges, punishable
by up to three years in prison, if they obtain an abortion, reports CBS Affiliate KRQE.
The chairman of New Mexico's Democratic Party called it an "atrocious piece of legislation."
was shocked in reading it," Rep. Gail Chasey , D-Albuquerque," told
KRQE correspondent Alex Goldsmith. "As an attorney I started looking at
it and thought that's not how we gather evidence in a rape anyway, so it
doesn't even make sense logically."
"I can't judge her intent,
but to me it feels like an extension of the war on women," said Rep.
Elizabeth Thomson , D-Albuquerque.
After telling KRQE that
critics were simply misreading her bill, Brown later told the station
that the language was a mistake made by the bill's drafter, an error she
says she missed when reviewing the bill before introducing it.
he fixed some of the tampering language in the bill, somehow it just
kind of missed the emphasis that I had hoped I'd made clear in the
beginning," Brown told KRQE.
Brown will introduce a new bill
that makes it clear that rape or incest victims could not be charged
with tampering with evidence for getting an abortion.
abortion-related proposal has been raised in Santa Fe this session. Rep.
Nora Espinoza , R-Roswell, has introduced the "Woman's Right to Know
Act" that would require doctors performing an abortion to first show the
woman an ultrasound and have her hear a fetus' heartbeat.