Abuzz over the interwebs (by journalists who evidently have failed English class) is the subject that a New Mexico lawmaker (who is a woman, by the way) has introduced a bill to the state House that makes rape victims who seek an abortion out to be felons. Many of them actually link to the PDF (here) of the actual bill, but so sorely lack reading comprehension, that their frenzy of outrage has apparently interfered with their ability to reason.
Here are a few headlines..
“New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortions After Rape As ‘Tampering With Evidence’”
“Proposed New Mexico Law Would Send Rape Victims Who Abort Pregnancies To Prison For ‘Tampering With Evidence’”
“A New Mexico Lawmaker Wants To Criminalize Post-Rape Abortions”
The actual text of HB-206 paints a completely different picture.
What seems to be causing some confusion is the TITLE of the bill, rather than the actual proposal of the bill:
The cropped section above is the title, not the proposal itself. The title here is describing what the bill is about IN GENERAL. If the bill were to actually be enacted, the title would have nothing to do with the law. The title could talk about saltwater taffy or Ferris wheels, and the bill’s approval would not in any way affect saltwater taffy or Ferris wheels.
If there were a bill about how everyone who has green hair should get candy, the title might read,
“AN ACT RELATING TO CANDY; SPECIFYING GIVING OF CANDY TO PEOPLE”
What’s in the body of the bill is the important part. That part states:
If you are somehow reading that the bill somehow equates abortion as tampering with evidence, then you fail high school freshman English. I hope these journalists reporting the bill wrongly are not voters, because they are woefully uneducated and possibly super-retarded.
The issue is “Doing A with Motive B” and specifically states that Doing A (having an abortion) with Motive B (with intent to destroy evidence) is the propose ADDITION to the already-existing list that describes other Motive B crimes.
1. Everyone with green hair should get candy.
2. Everyone should get candy.
Using the candy concept above, if the bill were to make the first statement, the part about green hair is the issue, not the “everyone” part.
1. Everyone who gets a post-rape/incest abortion with intent to tamper with evidence is a felon.
2. Everyone who gets a post-rape/incest abortion is a felon.
Similarly, the intent to tamper with evidence is the issue, not simply all post-rape/incest abortions alone.
Or, you can look at this another way.
If there were a law that stated: It is illegal to blow your nose or pick your nose and then rub boogers all over people, the criminal part is the rubbing of boogers all over people. Blowing or picking your nose WITHOUT rubbing it all over people is still perfectly legal to do.
HB 206 wishes to amend a law that already exists that describes the act of destroying stuff as criminal, **IF** the intention of the destruction is to prevent that stuff from being used as evidence in a criminal case. Destroying stuff outside of that situation is okay, but if you’re destroying stuff so it can’t be used as evidence, then you’re guilty of tampering. For instance, getting stuff dry cleaned is legal, but getting stuff dry cleaned if the stain on the garment or rug is blood splatter from a shooting and needs to be used in a criminal trial, then you would be destroying evidence, which would be illegal.
Getting an abortion after rape/incest would not be illegal, but **IF** one such post-rape/incest abortion is performed for the purposes of destroying evidence, then there’s a problem. You could still get one after being raped or after being subjected to incestuous relations, as long as it didn’t interfere with criminal evidence.
If you decided to see whether it was a misunderstanding before sharing one of these articles, I applaud you. You should be given lots of candy.
If you shared one of these articles that misunderstands simple English before you looked it up to see whether those claims were true, I’d suggest you delete the tweet, remove the Facebook post, or take down the article so you can save face from people who are not only going to think of you as having gotten your credentials from a Cracker Jack box, but they’ll have proof!