Target: New Mexico House Representative Cathrynn Brown
Goal: Remove bill that would force rape victims to continue pregnancy for duration of sexual assault trial or face imprisonment
A new bill that was recently introduced into the New Mexico House of Representatives would essentially force rape victims to continue their pregnancy throughout the duration of their sexual assault trial or face imprisonment. This bill, introduced by state Representative Cathrynn Brown, would charge sexual assault victims who terminated their pregnancy during their trial with “tampering with evidence.” This is an unconscionable attack on women who were already victims of a heinous crime. New Mexico legislators must realize this a put a stop before this bill before it can go into effect.
In New Mexico, “tampering with evidence” is a third-degree felony. That means if charged, both the woman and her doctor could face up to three years in prison. “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 bill says. This is not the way we should treat victims of sexual abuse. Sexual assault trials are difficult enough as it is without this choice between an unwanted pregnancy and prison.
By signing the petition below you will help urge New Mexico State Representative Cathrynn Brown to recall this bill before it is too late. Victims of rape and sexual abuse should not be treated this way, and it is our duty as a society to protect them. Please join me in standing up for women, especially those who have already been through so much.
Dear New Mexico House Representative Cathrynn Brown,
Your recent bill proposal, House Bill 206, is an unconscionable attack on women. Rape victims should not have to choose between an unwanted pregnancy and prison. I know you have said that this law was meant to protect the victims, but the language of the law says otherwise. I am writing you today in the hopes that you will realize this and remove the bill from consideration before it is too late.
Giving sexual assault victims a felony “tampering with evidence” charge is no way to protect the victims of these heinous crimes. It is not right for the woman and her doctor to be charged for terminating a pregnancy caused by rape in the name of judicial process.
I am urging you to do the right thing by protecting these women and not passing House Bill 206. Please take actions to remove this bill that, even if the intentions were good, would be used to make the lives of sexual assault victims harder, not easier.
[Your Name Here]
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