New Mexico House Committee Supports Bill to Remove Pre-Roe Abortion Ban
by Steven Ertelt
February 4, 2009
Santa Fe, NM (LifeNews.com) — Someday, pro-life advocates hope to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to have another opportunity to protect women and children by prohibiting abortions. Under a bill a New Mexico House panel approved, the southwestern state would not automatically ban abortions if that happens.
New Mexico, like many states, still has its pre-Roe pro-life laws on the books and the statute would immediately take effect if the Supreme Court reverses Roe.
However, the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee backed legislation on a 5-2 vote that would remove those pro-life laws from the books and require pro-life advocates to start all over if they want to ban abortions post-Roe.
Rep. Mimi Stewart, an Albuquerque Democrat, is the main sponsor of the bill and she told the legislative panel, ”This simply codifies what’s already happening."
However, pro-life advocates opposed the bill and said one of the problems of it is that it is so broadly written that it could affect other laws that should stay on the books — such as a ban on partial birth abortions and conscience clause statutes protecting medical professionals who don’t want to be involved in abortions.
Former New Mexico Congressman Bill Redmond of Los Alamos brought that to the attention of the committee.
”We are making criminals of other citizens of New Mexico because of their consciences,” he said, according to an AP report.
The bill now heads to the House Judiciary Committee, which must approve it before it goes to the full state House for consideration.
Rep. Thomas Anderson, an Albuquerque Republican, voted against the bill as did Rep. Zachary Cook, a Ruidoso Republican.
Democrats Maestas and committee Chairwoman Gail Chasey, Al Park, Karen Giannini, and Bill O’Neill, all from Albuquerque, voted for the bill.
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