Vaguely written New Mexico rape bill stirs controvesy

    6:39 AM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
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    ALBUQUERQUE, NM (CNN) -- A New Mexico state representative is in hot water over a proposed bill that criminalizes rape victims who become pregnant and get an abortion. But the Republican lawmaker says the controversy over the bill is all a misunderstanding.

    residents have been making phone calls expressing their opinion about legislation introduced by Republican Representative Cathrynn Brown. Brown says, "I put the bill in yesterday I believe, if I recall correctly, and the phone calls started this morning."

    There's good reason for all those calls. House Bill 206 is the talk of the nation right now. Brown says, "Some people misinterpreted the bill and thought it meant the girl who is impregnated if she chooses to get an abortion that she could be charged with tampering with evidence and that's truly not the case."

    Representative Brown admits the bill is vague. Part of it reads "whoever commits tampering with evidence shall be punished." Brown says, "This law would go after the perpetrator of the crime." Not the victim.

    She is working to get the right language into the bill to clear up the confusion. Brown says, "Down here we are adding the statement, regarding the perpetrator of the crime."

    Representative Brown says the confusion started when the bill was drafted. She says a few writers worked on it. One quit and it was passed onto another. That's when key words were left out.

    Brown says she's trying to protect rape and incest victims; saying some offenders pressure women to get abortions. She says, "When they violate her like this, I think we need to make it so that it isn't likely to continue and what better evidence do we have of a crime, than the DNA evidence?"

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