New Mexico’s Governor, Susana Martinez has found a new and novel way to save the state money and support the people who backed her run for governor. In order for a woman to receive child-care assistance in New Mexico, monies that will allow her to work and/or go to school, she first has to prove that she has done everything possible to secure child-support from the father. The one exception to this rule is if the child is a result of rape. As per the new proposed revisions to the Child Care Assistance Regulations (*.15.2 NMAC) a woman will now have to prove that she was “forcibly raped,” in order to receive child-care assistance. Putting aside for the moment the fact that all rape is forcible, the new provisions will require a police report, an immediate gynecological exam, and a statement from a doctor that the woman in question was in fact raped. Having had a friend who worked in an abused women’s shelter, I’m thinking about the stories she told me of women who were repeatedly beaten and raped by their husbands, husbands who threatened to kill their children or members of their family if they told anyone.
The concept of “forcible rape,” is a right wing, anti-choice term. The majority of the population agrees that abortion is ok in the case of rape; the anti-choicers are against abortion in all cases, ergo the introduction of “forcible rape,” because you know women lie about things like that and can’t determine for themselves whether sex is rape or consensual. New Mexico does not have any type of abortion restrictions such as “waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortion.” Keeping in mind that the extreme of extreme anti-choice group, Susan B. Anthony List, endorsed Martinez’s gubnatorial run, the stage was set for the anti-choicers to make their move; it was just a matter of when. In March, 2012, when Martinez declared April to be “New Mexico’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” “forcible rape,” made its first appearance right there in the second paragraph of Martinez’s Manifesto. “Forcible rape” would then make its next appearance in the proposed revisions to the Child Care Assistance Regulations.
Knowing how AUL, the legal wing of the anti-choice movement and Charmaine Yoest, AUL’s CEO and President, work I agree 100% with Jodi Jacobson, Editor in Chief over at Reality Check, that this all part of a broader strategy. It’s the beginning of chipping away at abortion rights in New Mexico. If rape can be split into “forcible” versus “regular” then abortion can be restricted in the cases of “regular rape.” It sounds insane but it’s that kind of legal hair splitting added to the idea of your money is being wasted on welfare whores that has allowed AUL to be as remarkably successful as they have at chipping away abortion rights at the state level.
Governor Susanna Martinez, anti-choice tool, is one of the former nominees for Talking Points Memo’s 2011 Golden Duke Awards, which recognize the year’s great accomplishments in muckiness including acts of venal corruption, outstanding self-inflicted losses of dignity, crimes against the republic, bribery, exposed hypocrisy and generally malevolent governance.
There will be a hearing on the proposed revisions to the Child Care Assistance Regulations in October, 2012. As of yet there are no petitions to sign but I’m sure there will be.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine Manaan (MAWT)
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