Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester questioned what is happening to the state of New Mexico as its lawmakers push radical, life-ending legislation to expand abortions and legalize assisted suicide.
In a statement last week, Wester implored Catholics to respond by striving to “protect vulnerable life,” especially unborn babies, and reaching people’s hearts with love, the Catholic News Service reports.
“I wonder, what have we become?” the archbishop said. “The repeal of abortion restrictions and the potential legalization of assisted suicide are gravely disappointing but not defeating. Just as the disciples witnessed Jesus’ death and resurrection, we understand disappointment. And we know that love wins.”
In February, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a radical pro-abortion law that will keep abortions up to birth legal in New Mexico even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. The law also repeals the only conscience protections for pro-life medical workers in the state, which could cause doctors and nurses to flee the state.
Wester and other Catholic leaders in New Mexico spoke out against the legislation and urged lawmakers to oppose it.
“New Mexico is set to legalize abortions with very few restrictions,” he said. “Particularly concerning is that this law also removes all conscience protections for medical providers and requirements that abortion be performed only by a doctor, both of which had been enforceable, even under Roe v. Wade.”
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Now, he said lawmakers are considering another life-ending bill that would legalize the killing of adults by assisted suicide. Wester said the bill may be “the worst in the nation” because it requires “that all patients in hospice care be offered assisted suicide as an option.”
“This as we struggle to dissuade our young people from taking their lives when they are struggling with depression and despondency,” the archbishop continued.
Even though the pro-abortion legislation passed and the assisted suicide bill may, too, Wester said hope remains. He said Catholics are committed to protecting “vulnerable life, especially the unborn and those at the end of life, with the hope of changing hearts with love.”
“Protecting the unborn, providing alternatives to abortion and walking with those at the end of life require systemic changes that transcend political parties,” he said. “We journey with women facing the wrenching decision of whether to have an abortion and with women who have had an abortion, making God’s mercy known to them.”
He also promised to continue to support people who are nearing the end of their lives by “providing them with hope and mercy, trusting that love wins.”
The new pro-abortion law will go into effect starting June 18. New Mexico is home to one of the few abortion facilities in the country that advertises abortions in the third trimester.