Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
Just one day after quietly introducing a whopper of a bill that would categorize abortions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest as “tampering with evidence,” New Mexico State Rep. Cathrynn N. Brown found herself doing some swift damage control.
As it still currently appears on the New Mexico Legislature’s page, Bill HB206 is blazingly, insanely straightforward. It explains that “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” and states “whoever commits tampering with evidence shall be punished” with varying degrees of felony charges. Isn’t it sweet when politicians try to defend the cause of “life” by categorizing fetuses as “evidence”? As one skeptic pondered Thursday, “So I assume, as evidence, the court will be holding the fetus in a locker and destroying it after trial?”
But Brown’s clever ruse to redefine a woman’s constitutional right as criminal tampering didn’t go over very well, and as the bill made national headlines Thursday, Brown not so coincidentally removed her contact information from her legislature page. But her personal Web page, which greets visitors with a photo from the governor’s prayer breakfast, tells a tale of somebody who’s been trying to tweak the narrative. There’s a record of two now-deleted posts entered on Thursday evening, followed by a statement from Brown that reads, “This is the bill that I will introduce that protects women and girls from incest and other sex crimes: It makes it clear that the mother of the fetus would never be charged. This bill ensures the prosecution of the offender and protection of the victim.”
In the bill’s newly gussied up language, it specifies that “a person who commits sexual penetration or incest and who procures an abortion of a fetus resulting from the crime with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime is guilty of tampering with evidence, prohibiting prosecution of the mother of the fetus … In no circumstance shall the mother of the fetus be charged.” So if you’re a rapist and you try to get your victim to have an abortion, you’re in trouble. Because that happens every day. Brown’s apparent interest in protecting women should be taken within the context of her other pursuits, however, like serving on the board of Carlsbad’s Right to Life chapter, and posting images from the Life Issues Institute on her Facebook page. The Institute describes its mission as “assuring … equal protection under the law for all living humans from the beginning of their biological life at fertilization.”
In a Thursday feature that ran in the Carlsbad Current-Argus, Brown, an experienced attorney, told Milan Simonich that the bill had been drafted too quickly and an “error” had caused it to be introduced before it was ready. “I missed this one,” she explained. Albuquerque Rep. Nate Gentry supported Brown’s assertion, adding, “She’s horrified.”
What a perfectly apt word. “Horrified” is exactly how one should feel about Brown’s sneaky, cruel and desperately punitive-to-victims bill. Too bad she’s horrified at being exposed for such a dumb, callous attempt to criminalize reproductive rights instead of at the idiotic obstacles continually thrown in the path of women seeking safe, legal abortions. But if you’re looking for proof of the callousness of the antiabortion movement and the extreme lengths to which they’ll go, you can at least give credit to Brown for providing the one thing she seems to care so very much about. Evidence.
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.