Ninety New Mexico clergy members publicly proclaimed their support for abortion on demand Tuesday in the Albuquerque Journal.
Their open letter, sponsored by Catholics for Choice and the New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, ran on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade.
“We, clergy and religious leaders from across New Mexico, in accordance with our moral convictions and our personal faith, support a women’s ability to access a full range of reproductive health services, including abortion,” they wrote.
They also supported a radical pro-abortion bill that would strip away all protections for unborn babies and allow abortion on demand in the state. If it passes, New Mexico would have more protections for animals from abuse than for unborn babies.
The pro-abortion clergy said an abortion is a “deeply personal”decision, and the government should not be involved.
Retired Episcopal priest Thomas Lowe said he signed the letter because he believes abortion leads to women’s equality, and the new conservative Supreme Court could take that away.
“We sadly now exist in an environment where some of the work that has succeeded in allowing women to be more equally involved in things that take place within our society, and to be fully empowered and make decisions that affect their own lives, are being challenged with efforts to reverse those advances,” Lowe said.
However, Catholic leaders in the state quickly denounced the letter and the so-called “Catholic” group that sponsored it, according to the local news.
In a statement, Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester said the three diocese in the state “adamantly uphold the Church’s historical belief in the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.”
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He said any group that does not support unborn babies’ right to life is not really Catholic, and he provided a list of “Catholic” groups that are not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
He said the clergy who signed the letter are “not in communion with, nor sponsored by, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe or the Roman Catholic Church in New Mexico.”
The New Mexico legislature now is in the control of pro-abortion Democrats, and pro-life advocates fear the new pro-abortion bill may pass.
House Bill 51, sponsored by state Rep. Joanne Ferrary, would repeal a state statute from the 1960s that prohibits abortions except in cases of rape, incest or threats to the mother’s life. The statute is not in effect because of Roe v. Wade, but if the Supreme Court overturns the ruling, it would go into effect again.
Ferrary’s bill would change that. Instead of being one of about a dozen states that would make it a crime for an abortionist to kill an unborn baby, New Mexico would become a state that allows abortions without restriction, the Albuquerque Journal reports. Essentially, unborn babies could be aborted for any reason up to birth.
It is similar to a New York state measure that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law earlier this week.
New Mexico is one of the few states where late-term abortions on viable, healthy unborn babies are legal and openly practiced. The late-term abortion facility Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque is facing a lawsuit for allegedly killing a young woman in a botched abortion when she was six months pregnant with her unborn child. The facility also has been linked to the aborted baby body parts scandal.
New Mexico also lacks many common sense abortion regulations that other states have in place, such as parental consent for minors, informed consent and limits on taxpayer-funded abortions.
Despite strong public opposition to unbridled abortion on demand, the governor said she will sign the bill if it reaches her desk, according to the New Mexico Political Report. State House Speaker Brian Egolf also said he would make the pro-abortion bill a priority, according to the report.