UPDATE: Carlsbad legislator says she will file substitute bill for one criminalizing abortion in rape cases

Posted at: 01/24/2013 10:28 AM
Updated at: 01/24/2013 1:40 PM
By: Tracy Dingmann, KOB.com

Photo: Rep. Cathrynn Brown

The Carlsbad legislator who filed a bill that could criminalize abortions for rape victims is now saying she will change the language of the bill to make it clear she is referring to a rapist who coerces the victim to have an abortion, not the victim.

Rep. Cathrynn Brown, a Republican who represents the Carlsbad area, introduced a bill Wednesday that could make it a crime for a rape victim to have an abortion, saying the fetus is criminal evidence that must be preserved.

Read the bill here:

Abortion as tampering with evidence

Rep. Brown's bill says procuring an abortion in cases of criminal sexual penetration or incest should be considered "tampering with evidence."

The bill calls for tampering of evidence charges to be filed against anyone found: "…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."

On Thursday, Brown issued a statement that she said clarifies the intent behind her bill. In it, she said she plans to submit a substitute draft soon. Her statement reads:

"It has been speculated that this legislation is intended to criminalize rape victims. This is a misinterpretation of the intent of the legislation.

'House Bill 206 was never intended to punish or criminalize rape victims,' said Rep. Brown. 'Its intent is solely to deter rape and cases of incest. The rapist—not the victim—would be charged with tampering of evidence. I am submitting a substitute draft to make the intent of the legislation abundantly clear.'"

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