News

Rape pregnancies must not be terminated as it would be ‘tampering with evidence’

A REPUBLICAN lawmaker in New Mexico offered an extraordinary explanation for introducing a bill this week that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to full term.

Foetuses that were the result of rape, said Cathrynn Brown, constituted “evidence of a crime”.

Cathrynn Brown

Cathrynn Brown

If  House Bill 206 becomes law, a rape victim who ended her pregnancy would be charged with a third-degree felony for “tampering with evidence.”

The bill says:

Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a foetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.

Third-degree felonies in New Mexico carry a sentence of up to three years in prison.

Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive non-profit opposing the bill, yesterday called it:

Blatantly unconstitutional. The bill turns victims of rape and incest into felons and forces them to become incubators of evidence for the state. According to Republican philosophy, victims who are ‘legitimately raped’ will now have to carry the foetus to term in order to prove their case.

The bill is unlikely to pass, as Democrats have a majority in both chambers of New Mexico’s state legislature.

Brown said in a statement on Thursday that she introduced the bill with the goal of punishing the person who commits incest or rape and then procures or facilitates an abortion to destroy the evidence of the crime.

New Mexico needs to strengthen its laws to deter sex offenders. By adding this law in New Mexico, we can help to protect women across our state.

Meanwhile, it is reported here that a Catholic hospital in Colorado, faced with a lawsuit over the deaths of a woman and the twins she was carrying, is claiming that foetus are not people, thereby flying in the face the Church’s insistence that:

Catholic health care ministry witnesses to the sanctity of life ‘from the moment of conception until death.

The case concerns Lori Stodghill, 31, who was seven-months pregnant with twin boys and feeling sick when she arrived at St Thomas More hospital in Cañon City on New Year’s Day 2006. She died at the hospital less than an hour after she arrived and her twins died in her womb.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Stodghill’s husband Jeremy, a prison guard, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of himself and the couple’s then-two-year-old daughter Elizabeth.

The lead defendant in the case is Catholic Health Initiatives, the Englewood-based non-profit organisation that runs St Thomas More Hospital as well as roughly 170 other health facilities in 17 states. Last year, the hospital chain reported national assets of $15 billion.

The organisation’s mission, according to its promotional literature, is to “nurture the healing ministry of the Church” and to be guided by “fidelity to the Gospel”. To those ends, Catholic Health facilities seek to follow the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church authored by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

But when it came to mounting a defence in the Stodghill case, Catholic Health’s lawyers effectively turned the Church directives on their head. Catholic organisations have for decades fought to change federal and state laws that fail to protect “unborn persons”, and Catholic Health’s lawyers in this case had the chance to set precedent bolstering anti-abortion legal arguments.

Instead, they are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn foetuses on grounds that those foetuses are not persons with legal rights.

Jason Langley, an attorney with Denver-based Kennedy Childs, argued in one of the briefs he filed for the defence, that the court:

Should not overturn the long-standing rule in Colorado that the term ‘person,’ as is used in the Wrongful Death Act, encompasses only individuals born alive. Colorado state courts define ‘person’ under the Act to include only those born alive. Therefore Plaintiffs cannot maintain wrongful death claims based on two unborn foetuses.

The Supreme Court is set to decide whether to take the case in the next few weeks.

Hat tip: John C (New Mexico report) and Gasputin & Dog Gone

 

38 Responses to “Rape pregnancies must not be terminated as it would be ‘tampering with evidence’”

  1. RabbitOnAStick says:

    Excellent idea. I presume that upon birth the baby would be sealed in a plastic evidence bag for the oncoming trial.

  2. Daz says:

    Brown said in a statement on Thursday that she introduced the bill with the goal of punishing the person who commits incest or rape and then procures or facilitates an abortion to destroy the evidence of the crime.

    And she’s implying that this happens a lot? Still an’ all, I’d support a law which specifically targeted coercion to have or not to have an abortion—but this ain’t it.

  3. Stephen Mynett says:

    DNA evidence can be obtained from the aborted fetus, this is just trying to force through catholic doctrine by the back door.

  4. RabbitOnAStick says:

    It’s truly remarkable isn’t it. these holier than thou cretin’s. Not a moments thought for the victim. The trauma. The suffering. The bodily changes she will undergo. Loss of vitamins and calcium. The loss of her life with a loving husband to conceive a child THEY MAY WANT!!
    And at what age? and for what? a moronic stupid stone age superstition dressed up as coming from a supposedly sane human being. Who actually is being punished!

    And after the birth. What then? who is to care and raise this piece of evidence?

  5. remigius says:

    ‘And after the birth. What then? who is to care and raise this piece of evidence?’

    Evidence used to convict is held by the prosecutors office in case of an appeal/retrial. After a certain time it is either destroyed or sold at public auction.

    Not much of a life is it?

  6. David Anderson says:

    Apparently,Brown is a Nazarene not a Catlick. Not that it makes any difference, still a pile of shite.

  7. ZombieHunter says:

    words fail me

  8. Stephen Mynett says:

    Sorry OT but David, Nazarene made me think. A couple of years ago I caught part of a documentary by some historian, the line of his argument was that the bible had it wrong and he was not Jesus of Nazareth but Jesus the Nazarene, anyone know anything about this,I would like to know more.Sorry cant give any more info.
    Ken, I am only interested in reading or watching stuff by genuine historians, you need not post you think it is wrong or any other of your spurious arguments.

  9. mikespeir says:

    That look on her face tells me she’s not serious.

    Surely!

    Please?

  10. barriejohn says:

    SM: You’re quite correct. Nazareth didn’t even exist as a proper town in the time of Jesus, and the settlement there was NOT on the top of the hill as the gospels claim, but in the valley. There were amongst the Jews Nazirites, who took a vow of holiness, and that may be where the confusion arose. Certainly, there was no OT prophecy about Messiah coming from Nazareth. Was Jesus a Nazirite? More confusion! John Baptist prophesied that he would abstain from strong drink, yet the gospels refer to him as a “winebibber” and friend of publicans and sinners, who enjoyed a somewhat hedonistic lifestyle. Unfortunately, if you are seeking the truth in the NT you are really up against it!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazirite

  11. barriejohn says:

    More on Nazareth and Nazirites here:

    http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/nazareth.html

  12. Stephen Mynett says:

    “Unfortunately, if you are seeking the truth in the NT you are really up against it!”
    Certainly are BJ. At least they rewrote the OT to fit their predictions in.
    Thanks for the link, will read it later, using a pub WiFi and I dont think the almosphere or my alcoholic state is too conducive to serious reading :)

  13. Ken says:

    Stephen Mynett “Ken, I am only interested in reading or watching stuff by genuine historians, you need not post you think it is wrong or any other of your spurious arguments.”

    Stephen – I’m not monitoring the forum, my engagement with it is somewhat limited. Endlessly commenting on threads could end up simply being trolling. But I don’t see anything wrong with putting the theist/biblical point of view occasionally, especially if the atheist contention is demonstrably wrong. At the very least, misrepresenting your opponent’s position is pretty pointless, regardless of who is doing it.

  14. Trevor Blake says:

    “Yea, though they bring forth, yet will I [God] slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.” – Hosea 9:16

  15. Marky Mark says:

    From barriejohn’s link,

    Quote:
    (Indeed, had no one mentioned what had happened in Bethlehem – star, wise men, shepherds, infant-massacre and all? Why would they have been outraged by anything the godman said or did? Had they forgotten a god was growing up in their midst? And what had happened to that gift of gold – had it not made the ‘holy family’ rich?)

    …This is an argument I have been saying for years.

  16. RabbitOnAStick says:

    and the clown appears but cannot make a rational comment about the actual topic.

    Your intellect is limited not your engagement.

    Nong.

  17. barriejohn says:

    Marky Mark: The Star – an embarrassment to all modern literalists. Obviously, less sophisticated people in the past could swallow the story that it had gone ahead of the Wise Men until it eventually reached the very house in which the child was to be found, only to hover above his abode, but this idea is now seen as ridiculous. Their only explanation, whilst clinging to their ideas of verbal inspiration, is to claim that the story is figurative, and refers to the way that the magi had interpreted astrological signs, but any reading of the passage shows quite clearly that it is meant to be taken as an historical record of actual events!

  18. barriejohn says:

    Brethren, rejoice – a miracle has happened! A vicar just a couple of miles from here prayed for money and God sent £200,000 in notes floating down from the sky! (I may have got some of that a bit wrong, actually.)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2268185/Vicar-asks-flock-pray-financial-help-gets-200-000-donation-mystery-benefactor.html

    Some of the comments are priceless again!

  19. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: Thanks. I enjoyed reading that one. He manages to ignore all the prayers that go unanswered. And are these activities the top priority for God? I’m an atheist and I prefer giving my contribution to the local hospice for children. That £200,000 could have done some real good and eased the lives of many people in terrible distress. Worth mentioning again that prayer is like asking an omniscient God to change its mind.

  20. Daz says:

    Am I the only one who read that Mail story barriejohn linked, and had the name “Moist von Lipwig” float into my head…?

  21. barriejohn says:

    Broga: No prayer goes unanswered. Sometimes the answer is “No”!

  22. barriejohn says:

    That sort of claim was made all the time when I was a member of the Plymouth Brethren. “God” would tell them to build a new Gospel Hall in some location or other, whereupon they would announce the fact in all the Christian magazines, and send out letters all over the country telling other churches what “God was doing” in their area*, and, surprise, surprise, the funds would “miraculously” start to flood in. “God” had answered their prayers!

    (*Known by the more cynical amongst their ranks – and there are some, believe it or not – as “Begging Letters”!!)

  23. Marky Mark says:

    Barriejohn said:
    (The Star – an embarrassment to all modern literalists. Obviously, less sophisticated people in the past could swallow the story that it had gone ahead of the Wise Men until it eventually reached the very house in which the child was to be found, only to hover above his abode, but this idea is now seen as ridiculous. Their only explanation, whilst clinging to their ideas of verbal inspiration, is to claim that the story is figurative, and refers to the way that the magi had interpreted astrological signs, but any reading of the passage shows quite clearly that it is meant to be taken as an historical record of actual events!)

    Also…the wisemen themselves. If they were so rich and wise, why would they not protect and groom such a prodigy throughout his life?
    Instead we know nothing about them after they arrive and present their gifts. Apparently they say, after traveling for weeks… “See ya, have a nice life ! We have more important things to do than associate with the son of the creator of the friggen universe !”

  24. Buffy says:

    This country is going more insane by the minute.

  25. Michael60302 says:

    My jaw actually dropped when I read this. How can anyone think such a thing is rational? Humanity just hit a new low with this woman.

  26. Matt Westwood says:

    @Buffy: I urge you to emigrate to Europe, which, while not being free of its own problems, seems significantly more sane and civilised than the US. The food’s better, the company is better, civil liberties are (in general) better, and even the climate is better (less of your intolerable extremes).

  27. [...] the upper slopes of Mount Insanity had been reached by New Mexico’s Cathrynn Brown with her “hold onto the foetus for evidence” bill, five Republican legislators are proposing a bill that would prevent students from graduating if [...]

  28. Harry says:

    Fixing the door that a burglar broke down is also tampering with evidence of a crime by this standard.

  29. Marky Mark says:

    A US, TV news show called “Viewpoint” was talking about this nit-wit broad today, and thats pretty much what they called her…a nit-wit.

  30. Ex Patriot says:

    M.Westwood What you said to Buffy is very true. I did go to Europe 14 years ago and seeing what the crazies are doing to the U.S I’m glad I did also I have no problem with the coutrys health care plan which I am on and it works for a very small cost to me.

  31. Peter Robertson says:

    In other news: a doctor was arrested for tampering with evidence after removing a bullet from a shooting victim…

  32. Jay says:

    ” civil liberties are (in general) better, and even the climate is better (less of your intolerable extremes).”

    Free speech is pretty weak. In much of Europe you can actually be fined or jailed for the wrong kind of speech. You have some privacy laws, but they mostly have to do with corporations, protection from government invasion of privacy is very limited.

    Just recently, Twitter lost a case in France because they did not have (on purpose) a way to identify sources of comments, in this case apparently antisemetic comments. They were ordered to implement such a mechanism immediately. Really, really bad precedent now when China, or Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan or any number of governments demand identities of people making “illegal” unapproved statements.

  33. Matt Westwood says:

    @Jay: I said “in general”. Laws on illegal drugs tend (in some places) to be considerably more lax, for example. And despite what it may says on paper in the US concerning freedom of speech, in practice you are pretty severely limited in your freedom to question the status quo and express your attitude towards your native land and the religion adopted by the general population of subhumans that inhabit that land.

  34. Gerry kershaw says:

    I’ve never heard of a law maker, anyway whatever her job is, surely she should be certified insane and locked up.

  35. Roedy Green says:

    The evidence of rape is semen samples, and possibly a tissue sample of the fetus. Have you ever heard of a living child being used as evidence in a rape case?

    She is grasping at straws.

    She is also ignores the right of a child to a mother who cherishes it. A child of rape has about as much hope of adoption as one with brain damage.

    This stupid women also opposes birth control that would have prevented the rape pregnancy in the first place.

  36. Roedy Green says:

    From the point of view of natural selection, rape is just a male strategy to bypass female sexual selection. In species where females have no strategy to prevent rapes from resulting in
    births, rape becomes endemic, such as in ducks. Christians insisting on forcing females to carry rape pregnancies to term are providing even more Darwinian motivation for rape.

  37. Barbara B says:

    Yes, from the point of view of natural selection, rape is a male strategy to bypass female sexual selection. But when males rape, they do not think of spreading their genes but of the immediate sexual gratification. So whether or not the female aborts the fetus is no concern to the rapist (unless he has to pay child support).

  38. Daz says:

    Roedy Green

    Point 1: Most rape of the type you seem to be referring to, where force is used, tends to be more about power than sex.

    Point 2: Human beings are not birds, lizards, big cats, cattle or insects. “From the point of view of natural selection,” we have evolved completely different social behaviour patterns. While it might be useful to (carefully) compare some very general behaviours, like altruism, comparisons of very specific behaviour such as rape are virtually useless.

    *Evo-psych! Rolls eyes.*