A Feminist's Political Epiphany

January 24th, 2013 by kerri ryer

An Open Letter to State Rep. Cathrynn Brown

Dear Rep. Brown,

Your most recent work in the New Mexico legislature is both insulting and disturbing.  It is my understanding that you penned House Bill 206 to punish rapists who commit rape, and or incest, and then attempt to obtain an abortion to avoid prosecution. The emphasis on punishment of the offender as the key response to rape and incest in HB 206 utterly neglects the victim’s rights, health, and wellbeing.

There are many ways to deter sex offenders that don’t involve punishing their victims. For example, expanding the definition of what constitutes rape and or incest, increasing the penalties for offenders, and or appropriating funds to agencies that respond to and prevent rape/incest.

While I agree that rapists should be prevented from forcing their victims to procure an abortion to avoid prosecution, banning all abortions on pregnancies that resulted from rape and incest is outrageous.  Many if not most pregnancies resulting from rape, and or incest, are unwanted pregnancies, in which, the victims seek abortion. So you think that it would be best to force a rape victim to carry an unwanted baby to term, and then be constantly remained of her traumatic experience every day she wakes up to her child’s face. How is that justice for the victim? Better yet, how is that justice for the potential child, who will grow up to understand that their father is a rapist, and that they were the result of rape and or incest, and that they were not wanted?!

If you were really worried that these victims are being forced into having abortions, then a reasonable plan of action would be to try and help them obtain information about their options.  If these victims want to carry their victims to term, there are or can be services in place to assist them in doing so. Or how about providing information in abortion clinics to women of services available if they feel they are being forced into getting an abortion?  It seems to me that any one of these alternative options is more reasonable than HB 206.

The logic that we must focus on punishing the aggressor at the expense of the victim always results in very poor policy decisions. It’s time we stop this destructive logic and start focusing on victims recovery and how to enact preventative policies.

PREVENTION & RECOVERY, not ABSOLUTE PUNISHMENT.

What are you going to argue next? : That once the pregnancy has been carried to term and determined to be the aggressor’s offspring, you will mandate that the rapist must marry his victim and care for both his child and victim as punishment like in the 1800s ??!?!

GIVE ME A BREAK YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!

 

 

Comments

2 Responses to “An Open Letter to State Rep. Cathrynn Brown”
  1. [...] BY KERRI RYER, A Feminist's Political EpiphanyDear Rep. Brown,Your most recent work in the New Mexico legislature is both insulting and disturbing. It is my understanding that you penned House Bill 206 to punish rapists who commit rape, and or incest, and then attempt to obtain an abortion to avoid prosecution. The emphasis on punishment of the offender as the key response to rape and incest in HB 206 utterly neglects the victim’s rights, health, and wellbeing.[more]  [...]

  2. Daniel Beaulieu…

    A round of applause for your article post.Thanks Again. Much obliged….

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