New Mexico Democrats Defeat Pro-Life Bill to Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 10, 2016   |   2:58PM   |   Santa Fe, NM

Ignoring the wide public support for a 20-week abortion ban, New Mexico Democrats killed two bills Tuesday that would have protected these late-term babies from abortion.

The bills failed in a state Senate committee vote Wednesday after an hours-long debate about abortion, according to The New Mexico Political Report. The bill failed in a party-line vote of 5-4, the report states.

The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Bill Sharer, would have banned abortions at 20 weeks when unborn babies can feel pain and defined viability as “when the life of the unborn child may be continued indefinitely by natural or artificial life-supportive systems.”

Before the vote, Sharer showed a picture of his granddaughter Scarlett, who was born premature, to the committee members, according to the report. He asked them to think about what could have happened if Scarlett’s mother had been diagnosed with a disease late in her pregnancy.

“Does that mean a doctor can cut up [Scarlett’s] heart and little lungs, little eyes, little liver, because her mother is ill?” he asked. “Six month old babies can be a pain. What if mom simply doesn’t want her anymore? Does that qualify Scarlett as trash? Is that a decision between her mother and her trash collector?”

“The number of late-term abortions is very small,” but every unborn baby’s death is “a tragedy,” he continued. Sharer’s legislation is especially important because New Mexico is home to one of the last openly practicing late-term abortion businesses in the country.

Eliza Martinez, executive director of the New Mexico Alliance for Life, also testified before the vote.

Keep up with the latest pro-life news and information on Twitter.

“This is a life and death issue that the state of New Mexico has the full authority to address on behalf of innocent unborn lives,” she said.

Martinez referenced a poll showing that Albuquerque voters support banning late-term abortion by a 54 percent to 39 percent margin.

However, the meeting turned nasty when pro-abortion Democrats accused Martinez of misrepresenting public support for the legislation and calling voters stupid.

The report explains what happened:

“Wait a minute, wait a minute,” Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, interjected. “Didn’t we just have an election on that?”

Ortiz y Pino was referring to a 2013 Albuquerque ballot measure to ban late-term abortion rejected by voters  55 percent to 45 percent.

“The ballot was long and confused people,” Martinez responded.

Language on that ballot question, titled the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance,” delved into 12 sections.

… When Martinez again mentioned that the wording of the question during the election confused people, O’Neill asked her if she was saying that Albuquerque voters were “too stupid” to understand what they were voting on.

“No, you just said that,” Martinez said.

Pro-abortion groups from outside the state spent a massive amount of money to influence the 2013 ballot measure, LifeNews previously reported. Numerous national polls also confirm that Martinez is right: most Americans oppose late-term abortions and want them banned.

Last year, a similar bill to protect unborn babies from abortion after 20 weeks failed to pass in New Mexico.

Across the country, eight states have the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in effect: West Virginia, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Dakota and Texas. More than 18,000 ‘very late term’ abortions are performed every year on perfectly healthy unborn babies in America.