Bill would criminalize getting an abortion after a rape

A new bill introduced by New Mexico Rep. Cathrynn Brown would make "tampering with evidence" by getting an abortion after rape or incest a crime.

New Mexico Republican Rep. Cathrynn Brown introduced a bill Wednesday that would make it a crime to get an abortion after a rape because it would tamper with evidence.

Under the bill, getting an abortion or convincing someone else to get an abortion would be seen as "tampering with evidence in cases of criminal sexual penetration or incest."

Anyone who "tampers with evidence" in such a case could face felony charges, according to the bill. The provisions would come into effect July 1.

In a statement Thursday to NBC News, Brown said her intention with the bill was not to criminalize rape victims.

"Its intent is solely to deter rape and cases of incest," she said in the statement. "The rapist — not the victim — would be charged with tampering of evidence."

She added that she planned to submit a substitute draft of the bill to clarify its intent.

According to her campaign website, Brown has been endorsed by Right to Life, a national pro-life organization.


Since the bill was introduced, it has seen a backlash, and Brown's public Facebook page has been flooded with angry messages.

"You are a disgrace to women everywhere," one user wrote. "A womb is not an evidence locker," another posted.

The New Mexico Democratic Party called the bill a "war on women," according to NBC.

NBC reported that a New Mexico Right to Life Committee was still analyzing the bill and could not immediately comment Thursday.


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