New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R) removed a provision of new proposed updates to the state’s Child Care Assistance Policy that would add “forcible rape” as a condition for those seeking assistance.
The Children, Youth, and Families Department’s (CYFD) policy originally stated that a woman seeking assistance for a child must be in contact with the other parent and file a child support claim to be eligible, but the policy made an exception for children “conceived as a result of incest or forcible rape” [emphasis added].
Reproductive justice blog RH Reality Check first posted about the language in the policy on Thursday. The story was quickly picked up by news outlets such as the Huffington Post.
A few hours later, Governor Martinez instructed her administration to remove “forcible rape” from the new policy. In a statement released by the office of the CYFD, the department said: “It’s clear the language was only in the proposed version because of its usage in the same federal regulations and its in [sic] existence in federal statute. At least five states use the exact same language in their existing childcare regulations: Oklahoma, West Virginia, Maryland and Maine… The Governor feels the language is redundant and unnecessary, and she does not support its usage. It has been removed from the proposed regulation changes.”
It still remains unclear whether rape survivors will have to seek child support from their rapist before receiving child care assistance in New Mexico.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 9/20/12; RH Reality Check 9/20/12; ThinkProgress 9/20/12