Victims of rape could soon face punishment in New Mexico if a law to criminalize aborting a fetus is passed.
Republican Representative Cathrynn Brown introduced House Bill 206, which would charge victims of rape with a third-degree felony charge if the victim chooses to terminate her pregnancy. The bill claims that the termination is grounds for tampering with evidence.
A felony in New Mexico can carry a sentence of up to three years, according to the Huffington Post.
Although the bill is most likely not going to pass due to the Democrat party serving as the state house majority, even the idea of a bill such as this is unbelievable and disgusting.
Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, turning a victim of one of the most heinous and devastating crimes known to humans into a criminal honestly has me flabbergasted.
Having to move on after suffering from rape is hard enough, but having to move on while serving time in jail is unimaginable.
Rape victims suffer from Rape Trauma Syndrome, a three-step process that begins with the initial shock after the rape to the resolution phase, when the victim begins to move on.
This process can take months to years, depending on the victim, and it can be incredibly difficult for some.
According to Suicide.org, about 33 percent of rape victims have suicidal thoughts, and 13 percent will actually attempt suicide.
A study conducted by the Medical University of South Carolina discovered that roughly one-third of rape victims will develop post traumatic stress disorder in his or her lifetime.
The study also discovered that victims of rape had a much higher chance of abusing drugs and alcohol than non-victims.
Although for some, pregnancy could seem like a glint of hope after such a dark event, but for most women, that is not the case.
The medical university also discovered that 61 percent of women were concerned about becoming pregnant.
And according to a study by the same institution, roughly 32,180 women will face that fear every year. The study also discovered that 50 percent of rape pregnancies are terminated, which means New Mexico could be incarcerating 16,050 scared and traumatized women every year.
And that high number would become a huge financial burden, with the average incarceration cost for one prisoner a year is roughly $31,307, according the organization “The Price of Prisons.”
That could be $5 million used to help fund programs, counseling, etc. to help victims recover from their attack. Aside from the burden on the victims, Brown’s argument for this bill is incredibly weak.
There are several different ways to obtain evidence to prosecute an alleged rapist. DNA evidence such as hair, skin cells, or bodily fluids may be left on the victim or at the scene of the crime.
This evidence can be used to compare with known samples or to place a suspect at the scene of the crime.
Abortion is still a very sensitive issue, and I respect both sides.
However, I do not respect the idea of throwing an innocent woman in prison after she has been violated and traumatized in such a disgusting way.
These unfortunate women should be treated with dignity and respect, and not treated like criminals.