New Mexico Bill Labels Post-Rape Abortion "Tampering With Evidence"

Sponsored by Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R), the bill contains the following paragraph:

“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.”

Brown is now claiming to be “horrified” at the idea that the proposed law could be used to prosecute rape survivors who choose to abort their pregnancies and says she plans to update the bill’s language to this:

“A person who commits sexual penetration or incest and who procures an abortion of a fetus resulting from the crime with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime is guilty of tampering with evidence, prohibiting prosecution of the mother of the fetus… In no circumstance shall the mother of the fetus be charged.”

So that’s better. But I don’t buy that this was just a mistake, as Brown claims. The original language distinguishes between “procuring” an abortion and “compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion”. If Brown really intended only to target coerced abortions, she would not have needed to make the distinction.