SANTA FE - State Rep. Cathrynn Brown, sponsor of an anti-abortion bill that she called poorly written, said her intent was not to charge rape victims with a felony if they terminated their pregnancy.

Brown, R-Carlsbad, said her bill was badly drafted and that she did not catch the language problems when reviewing it.

"I missed this one," she said Thursday.

Her proposal, House Bill 206, says: "Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime."

Rep. Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, said Brown's intent was to focus on a perpetrator, such as a stepfather who raped a teen, impregnated her and then demanded that she get an abortion.

Brown did not want to put any onus on a rape victim, Gentry said.

An attorney, Brown said her practice is to edit a bill carefully before releasing it. This time, a drafting error occurred and she was not diligent enough so it got through, she said.

"She's horrified," Gentry said.

Brown, beginning her second term in the House of Representatives, said she had never been through a storm like this one.

Her bill created a flurry of criticism, in the Capitol and on the Internet. Groups in New Mexico and elsewhere denounced her bill as a second assault on rape victims.


Milan Simonich, Santa Fe bureau chief of Texas-New Mexico Newspapers, can be reached at or 505-820-6898. His blog is at