NM lawmaker at center of internet firestorm

Posted at: 01/24/2013 6:53 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A New Mexico state lawmaker finds herself at the center of an internet firestorm. It's over a bill she says is misunderstood and misinterpreted.

The bill aims to make it a crime for a rapist to try to coerce his victim into getting an abortion - to destroy the evidence, but that's not the way some are portraying it on the internet

Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R-Carlsbad) is a lawyer and a mother of five.

Her bill would make it a felony for a rapist to compel his victim to get an abortion.

But all day long Brown's office was bombarded with phone calls from angry people Internet news sites like Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Slate, New York Magazine accuse Brown of wanting to punish rape victims for getting abortions - something she says she never intended.

"That has been kind of hurtful for me because I've been very clear from the time the idea for this bill came to me that this is designed to stop rapists and there are lots of families that are affected by incest and it's a bigger crime than I think most people know,” Brown said.

The bill may in fact be sloppily written, but the intent clearly was to target rapists - not rape victims.

"This, now, does give me the opportunity to say I'm here to advocate for women and children and I'm proud of the fact that I'm doing that,” Brown said.

Brown says her bill is being re-written to clear up any confusion.