25 January 2013

Editorial commentary: Abortions After Rape 'Tampering With Evidence?' Seriously?!

Okay, here's a link to the original article in question: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/new-mexico-abortion-bill_n_2541894.html

Rape victims who become pregnant by their attacker could face three years in prison for tampering with the evidence. The idea is that the baby is DNA evidence in a criminal investigation and prosecution.

Let's set aside the question of whether abortion is right or wrong. That's superfluous to issue. Abortions are not currently illegal. The logical question is: Isn't all the DNA to be found in the aborted fetus the identical DNA that would be found in a live birth infant? Wouldn't evidence actually be simpler and more expediently obtained from an aborted fetus? If that pregnancy should be the only definitive proof of the rapist's identity, would our legal system be permitted to incarcerate the perpetrator until that pregnancy had run to term? 

Our culture persists in stigmatizing victims of rape, making them feel they'll be blamed, and feel victimized all over again by the judicial process. Rape victims are more than 13 times more likely to attempt suicide (source: http://www.musc.edu/vawprevention/research/mentalimpact.shtml) Would rape victims who attempt or commit suicide also be guilty of tampering with the evidence? Or obstruction of justice? 

I was trying to present a reasoned commentary. I just can’t. This woman is a monster! This woman would take America into a new Dark Ages, would put us on a level with the Nazi or Serbian war criminals. Our soldiers fought and died to defeat those monsters. What will we say to the daughters of our fallen who died to stop the monsters?

From Wikipedia: Enforced pregnancy from rape in conflict
Forced pregnancy from rape has been used in war and armed conflict as a form of psychological warfare, to humiliate undermine the morale of the enemy. Pregnancy from rape is recognized under the Geneva Convention as crimes against humanity and war crimes.[28]
During the 1992–95 Bosnian war pregnancy from rape was used as a form of genocide. There were reports of deliberately created "rape camps" intended to make captive Muslim and Croatian women pregnant. Women were reported to have been kept in confinement until late in their pregnancy. In the context of a patrilineal society, in which children inherit their father's ethnicity, such camps would create a new generation of Serbian children. The women's group Tresnjevka claimed that more than 35,000 women and children were held in such Serb-run camps.[29][30][31] Estimates range from 20,000[32] to 50,000[33] victims.[34][35][36] Feryal Gharahi of Equality Now reported:
Families were separated, and women and children were kept in the gym, where all of the women and girls over ten years old were raped in the first few days.... There are rape camps all over the country. Thousands of women are being raped and killed. Thousands of women are pregnant as a result of rape. Over and over again, everywhere I went in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Croatian refugee camps, women told me stories of abomination – of being kept in a room, raped repeatedly and told they would be held until they gave birth to Serbian children.[37]
Gita Sahgal of Amnesty International commented that, rather than being primarily about "spoils of war" or sexual gratification, rape is often used in ethnic conflicts as a way for attackers to perpetuate social control and redraw ethnic boundaries.[38]

This is an elected official, an attorney, and a woman. I shudder for my whole sex. I weep for our judicial and political system. 

I've been looking up this woman today and can find precious little of substance. On her Vote Smart biography, I did find a link to her voting record: http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/110625/cathrynn-brown#.UQKUO0pU7Q8 and I looked at her Facebook page. Both offer scant information on her. According to Ballot Pedia, "Cathrynn Brown is a Republican member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, …District 55…elected in 2010. Brown is an attorney who practices transactional law. She has prior political experience as the Eddy County GOP chairwoman and a board member of the anti-abortion association Right to Life of Carlsbad."

Amendments to the measure have been made, but the bill is still being pushed forward. Here's a link to an article detailing Cathrynn Brown's recent activity on her infamous bill: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/bill-criminalizing-abortions-rape-victims-revised-article-1.1247726