GOP Lawmaker Wants to Charge Rape Victims Who Have Abortions with 'Evidence Tampering'

If a Republican legislator in New Mexico gets her way, women who have abortions after being raped could face jail time for "tampering with evidence."

State Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R-Carlsbad) introduced a bill yesterday that requires rape victims to see their pregnancies through during the course of their sexual assault trial, or be charged with third-degree felony evidence tampering.

From House Bill 206:

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.

If convicted, a rape victim could face up to three years in prison.

The bill turns victims of rape and incest, who have just been through a horrible sexual assault, into felons and forces them to become incubators of evidence for the state," said ProgressNow New Mexico executive director Pat Davis in a statement. "According to Republican philosophy, victims who are ‘legitimately raped' will now have to carry the fetus to term in order to prove their case."

Huffington Post notes that it is unlikely the bill will pass, as New Mexico's state legislature is controlled by Democrats.

[photo via Cathrynn Brown]