ACLU Responds to “Criminalizing Rape Survivors” Bill

Affiliate: ACLU of New Mexico
January 24, 2013 3:21 pm

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of New Mexico
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New York, NY 10004
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CONTACT: (212) 549-2666;

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Yesterday, Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R-55) of Carlsbad, NM introduced a bill that would include rape survivors who have an abortion in the felony crime of “tampering with evidence.” The bill, HB 206, says that:

B. 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.

The following quote can be attributed to ACLU of New Mexico Executive Director Peter Simonson:

“This bill criminalizes rape survivors who seek to have an abortion. It would force a rape survivor to choose between cooperating in the prosecution of her abuser and terminating an unwanted pregnancy that was forced upon her. Most New Mexicans agree that we should not punish survivors of sexual assault for the crime that was perpetrated upon them. Rape survivors need care and support, not a felony charge.”

The following quote can be attributed to ACLU of New Mexico Legal Director Laura Schauer Ives:

“Forcing someone else to destroy evidence of sexual assault is already a crime under the current tampering with evidence statute. This bill can only serve to criminalize rape survivors who seek abortions.”

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