Target: New Mexico Representative Cathrynn Brown
Goal: Protect rape victims from carrying pregnancies in order to use the fetus as evidence in court
New Mexico Representative Cathrynn Brown is trying charge a rape victim with a third-degree felony for terminating her pregnancy. The House Bill 206 Ms. Brown presented would make a rape victim’s fetus evidence in a sexual assault trial. Terminating that pregnancy would be considered tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony in New Mexico, which can carry a sentence of up to three years in prison.
Representative Brown has received furious backlash from this proposal and has been quoted saying that there was a mistake in the language of the bill, which was the drafter’s error that she missed on initial review. Representative Brown stated that she is introducing a new bill that makes it clear a rape victim will not be charged for procuring an abortion. But the potential for “mistakes in the language” may happen again. Representative Brown and other politicians need to know that female citizens of this country will not stand idly by while the rights of their bodies are discussed and limited by the state.
By signing the petition below you will take a stand against women’s rights violations and demand Representative Brown to remove House Bill 206 from the docket and think carefully before she proposes legislation that overwhelmingly violates women’s bodies and rights.
Dear Representative Brown,
Representative Gail Chasey of Albuquerque was quoted saying she was “shocked” after reading the House Bill 206 you proposed on Wednesday. Like Representative Chasey and millions of outraged citizens, I am appalled such misguided legislation would even be considered. The bill shows a lack of understanding of legal process and is an utter violation of women’s rights. Although this bill is likely not going to pass because of New Mexico’s democratic majority in chambers of state legislature, I am informing you as a concerned citizen that this sort of blatant violation of the constitution will not stand or be ignored.
You have stated you will introduce a new bill clearly stating that an abortion after rape will not be considered evidence tampering. I urge you to consider this before you amend the current bill to make it clearer: the DNA from a pregnancy from rape is not necessary to prove a rape occurred. The DNA of the rapist is alone necessary to prove that he is a rapist. That is fact.
Rather than amending House Bill 206 to clearly state that the rapist not the victim will be on trial, throw out this blatantly unconstitutional bill and work on protecting, not violating, rape victims in New Mexico and this country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: mahalie stackpole via Wikimedia Commons