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Ear to the Ground

Bill Seeks to Criminalize Abortion After Rape

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Posted on Jan 24, 2013
flickr/abardwell

Here’s some more backward thinking from the political party that introduced terms such as “legitimate rape,” “forcible rape,” “easy rape” and “enjoyable rape” into the national lexicon. Legislation introduced in New Mexico recently by a Republican lawmaker would make it a crime for a woman who gets pregnant as a result of being raped to get an abortion because it would be considered “tampering with evidence.”

The result: Victims of rape would be forced to carry their pregnancies to term or be charged with a felony that could land them in prison for up to three years. That’s quite a burden for sexual-assault survivors—who, let’s remember, have already been heinously violated and victimized—to bear.

Think Progress:

Sexual assault trials are infamously grueling for survivors, who are often subjected to character assassination and other attempts to discredit their accounts. State Rep. Cathrynn Brown’s (R) bill would add the forced choice between prison or an unwanted pregnancy to these proceedings.

After several failed GOP candidates, including Todd Akin (R-MO) and Richard Mourdock (R-IN), made offensive comments about rape victims during the last election season, Republican consultants launched sensitivity training to teach candidates how to avoid talking about rape. But GOP policy speaks for itself. At the federal level, former vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced a failed bill that would negate sexual assault that are not deemed “forcible rape.” And another New Mexico lawmaker, Gov. Susana Martinez (R), advanced a proposal to require women who become pregnant from rape to prove they were “forcibly raped” in order to qualify for childcare assistance.

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—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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