I think I’m going to start compiling an entry of different ways women are being fucked over as visible in the news. Not a single day goes by that I don’t read something and wonder where this hatred of women comes from. Sometimes men are the perpetrators and sometimes women are the ones displaying the misogyny. This time, it’s a woman.
Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R) introduced House Bill 206 which aims to make it so that women who have been raped and then obtain an abortion could be charged with a felony for tampering with evidence. The bill would go into effect in July of this year. The bill defines tampering with evidence as ‘destroying, changing, hiding, placing or fabricating any physical evidence with intent to prevent the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of any person or to throw suspicion of the commission of a crime upon another.’
In this scenario, a woman who has been raped and wants an abortion would now be able to be tried for tampering with evidence in an attempt to prevent prosecution of a crime. We are living in a rape culture wherein a woman who reports her rape is already facing ridicule, potential physical harm, ostracization, and further trauma. The backlash from law enforcement, community and family can be immense. Of rapes reported in America, only 25% lead to an arrest. .Think about that. That’s a terrifyingly low number. Less than 3% of rapes reported are false reports. In a culture where sexual violence against women is common and often unchecked, where our right to reproductive control is constantly in jeopardy, what does this mean?
It means that once again there is another attempt to chip away at Roe v. Wade. Once again, a crime against a woman is not as important as humbling a woman and controlling her body. Once again, rather than taking time to prosecute the very real crime of rape, an attempt is being made to instead prosecute women who refuse to be human incubators. The shit of it all is that Cathrynn Brown is making the ugly claim that she is doing this to help women. She is insisting that this bill would be a measure to crack down on rapists and not a way to punish and demean women. ‘“New Mexico needs to strengthen its laws to deter sex offenders,” said Brown. “By adding this law in New Mexico, we can help to protect women across our state.” In her mind, women who have been traumatized by rape will benefit from the trauma of being forced to carry a baby they don’t want and to then give birth to their rapists child. If you want to protect women, you don’t cause them harm and trauma. You offer them unconditional support in the wake of their sexual assault or rape. You don’t re-victimize them to prove a point.
Reporting a rape can be a trying and difficult situation that can sometimes put the victim under more duress and scrutiny than the rapist. A bill like this can only make it harder for women to report their rapes as doing so could mean they cannot obtain an abortion if they want to without being charged with a crime. Bills like this take away the constitutional personhood of the mother in favor of the fetus, all under the guise of protecting women. This cannot happen.
Aborted fetuses contain dna matter. The biological evidence is in that tissue. If a raped woman wants an abortion and dna is needed, get it from the aborted tissue. And also consider that not every woman that reports her rape wants to press charges. Some women report their rape so that they can get a restraining order. Other women report their rape so that they can help the police demonstrate a pattern of assault against the assailant. Not every woman who reports her rape wants to press charges and in this scenario, even reporting it means you cannot have an abortion or you could be charged with a crime.
What do you think?