Anti-Choicers Shun Virtually All Activity Limitations

States are hacking away at abortion rights, passing 92 new restrictions in 2011 alone — nearly triple the number of any other year on record. [1] A staggering 87 percent of U.S. counties lack an abortion provider and several states have only a clinic or two, staffed by a doctor who flies in from another state. [2]

Fetal personhood and other extreme measures may have been rejected at the polls in Mississippi and North Dakota but voters in 26 states elected conservative legislators that seem to delight in drawing up devious ways to undermine women’s reproductive health. [3]

But the epitome of anti-choice overreach, ranking up there with Todd Akin’s contention that women have a mechanism that rejects unfriendly sperm and Indiana’s U.S. senatorial candidate Richard Murdoch’s belief that rape is part of God’s plan, is the bill introduced by New Mexico’s House Rep. Cathrynn Brown in the current legislative session. Brown’s bill, HB 206, charged a rape victim who ended her pregnancy, with a third-degree felony for “tampering with evidence.” Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or faciliating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, if a fetus is the result of criminal sexual penetration, with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.

Instead of rejecting the bill as the product of a diseased mind, HB206 was assigned to a committee for a hearing. Brown blamed the bill’s printer for emasculating her wording; however, she had ample opportunity to review the wording before introducing it on the floor. Bowing down to a nationwide uproar, Brown withdrew the bill as worded.

If enacted, Brown’s bill could have subjected anyone who encouraged a pregnant woman to have an abortion, or any medical personnel who assisted in, or performed an abortion, to a criminal indictment.


[1] “Roe at 40,” The Nation, January 21, 2013.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

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