New Mexico moved closer to adopting a radical new law allowing abortions for basically any reason up to birth on Saturday.
State House Bill 51 passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs committee in a 3-2 vote, with all Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans voting against, according to Newsweek.
Sponsored by state Rep. Joanne Ferrary, the bill 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 case, it would go into effect again.
Ferrary’s bill would change that. Instead of being one of nine 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.
In addition, it would remove conscience protections for medical professionals who believe it is wrong to abort unborn babies.
“The committee’s willingness to pass this careless bill without consideration of amendments to limit abortion up to birth after five months, and other concerns most New Mexicans have is a disgrace,” said New Mexico Alliance for Life Executive Director Elisa Martinez. “Forcing doctors to participate in abortions up to birth is the stated goal of proponents behind this bill and New Mexicans must rise up against this radical bill.”
One of the women who testified against the bill was Tina Atkins, the mother of a young woman who died along with her unborn baby at the late-term abortion facility Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque.
“How can anyone sit here and tell me that HB-51 will grant access to safe abortions when my daughter is dead from an abortion?” Atkins asked the committee. “It is widely published in medical journals that after five months of pregnancy, a woman has an 89 times greater risk of death than earlier abortions.”
Atkins is suing the abortion facility for allegedly killing her daughter, Keisha, in a botched abortion.
Supporters of the bill — including attorneys who served as expert witnesses — said other provisions in state and federal law already ensure no medical provider is forced to participate in an abortion.
But opponents said they feared the repeal would weaken safeguards that allow medical providers to follow their conscience.
“I just have a deep concern that we are taking the only explicit protection we have for individuals,” said Rep. Gregg Schmedes, a Tijeras Republican and surgeon.
The bill must pass another committee before it moves to the full state House for a vote. However, many believe it will pass, because pro-abortion Democrats control both state houses, as well as the governor’s office.
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.
It is similar to a New York state measure that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law earlier this month. The Vermont and Rhode Island legislatures are considering similar legislation this winter.
ACTION: Contact the New Mexico legislature to oppose the bill.