Carlsbad legislator posts new version of abortion bill

Posted at: 01/25/2013 11:31 AM
Updated at: 01/25/2013 5:18 PM
By: Tracy Dingmann, KOB.com

Photo: Rep. Cathrynn Brown
Photo: Rep. Cathrynn Brown

A Carlsbad legislator has rewritten a bill regarding abortions for rape victims that started a national controversy.

Cathrynn Brown, a Republican from Carlsbad, had filed a bill Wednesday that she said was intended to impose new criminal penalties on rapists who forced their victims to get abortions.

She posted a new version of the bill on her website Friday.

The change does not yet appear in on the New Mexico Legislature's website, where, as of Friday morning, the official bill still shows the old version.

Brown said her original bill was intended to impose new criminal penalties on rapists who forced their victims to get abortions.

The bill said the abortions would constitute "tampering with evidence" because they would destroy a fetus, which was evidence of a crime.

But Brown's bill ignited a fury on the Internet, where commentators interpreted it as a call to charge rape victims who get abortions.

"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 told KOB Thursday.

She said she would write a substitute version of the bill to make that clear.

The new version of the bill on her website Friday has added the sentence:

"In no circumstance shall the mother of the fetus be charged under this subsection."

Stay with KOB for updates on this story.