New Mexico lawmakers are swiftly on their way toward legalizing the killing of unborn babies in abortions up to birth for years to come.
The Daily Post reports the state Health and Human Services Committee passed House Bill 7 with bipartisan support on Wednesday. The vote was 8-3, and the bill now heads to the state House Judiciary Committee.
The pro-abortion bill would repeal a 1969 statute 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 The statute is not in effect because of Roe v. Wade, but if it is repealed, the state would continue to allow unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to birth even if Roe is overturned.
It also would repeal the only conscience protections for pro-life medical workers in New Mexico. Currently, the law protects doctors, nurses and other medical workers from discrimination if they refuse to abort an unborn baby based on “moral or religious grounds.”
A state Senate committee passed an almost identical bill earlier this week.
However, pro-life leaders and medical workers are pushing back, saying the bill would strip away vital protections for healthcare workers, babies and mothers.
“Regardless of your position on abortion, no one should be forced to participate, to violate her most deeply held principles or the reason she entered the medical field – to save lives,” Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life, told the committee prior to the vote.
Foster said tens of thousands of healthcare providers in New Mexico would lose their conscience rights and they could sue the state for violating their religious freedom.
During a Senate hearing earlier in the week, state Sen. Gregg Schmedes, R-Sandoval, warned that doctors may leave New Mexico if the bill passes.
“Though some of the existing law is unenforceable because of Roe v. Wade, this statute contains important provisions that protect our doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals,” Schmedes said, according to the Los Alamos Reporter. “As a medical doctor, I have heard from many of my colleagues that if they lose these vital conscience protections, they will consider leaving the state which would threaten healthcare access for many New Mexicans.”
But state Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena, D-Mesilla, a sponsor of the bill, argued that the 1969 statute needs to be repealed because it is “outdated and dangerous.”
“Pregnant people and their families deserve continued access to safe and legal abortion,” Cadena said. “By repealing this dangerous statute, we are making sure this ban is never enforceable in New Mexico again.”
The AP predicts the bill will pass the Democrat-controlled state legislature. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a pro-abortion Democrat, also supports it.
But pro-lifers are not giving up hope. Elisa Martinez, executive director of the New Mexico Alliance for Life, urged New Mexico residents to call their lawmakers and urge them to reject the bill.
“The radical abortion lobby seeks to force medical professionals across New Mexico to perform abortions as a matter of ‘access.’ This is not a pro-woman bill but rather, a pro-abortion lobby bill,” Martinez said.
In 2019, a bipartisan group of lawmakers defeated a similar pro-abortion bill in the state Senate. However, many of the Democrat lawmakers who voted against it no longer serve in the legislature.
The bill is similar to laws that passed recently in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. New Jersey also is considering a bill to expand the killing of unborn babies in abortions this year.
Action: Contact New Mexico state lawmakers.