New Mexico Committee Passes Bill Forcing Schools to Facilitate Secret Abortions on Kids

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 3, 2023   |   5:24PM   |   Santa Fe, New Mexico

New Mexico pro-life advocates warned voters this week about a radical pro-abortion bill that could force teachers and school nurses to help students get secret abortions without their parents’ knowledge.

Sponsored by state Rep. Linda Serrato, D-Santa Fe, state House Bill 7 is supposed to protect “access to reproductive and gender-affirming health care” in New Mexico by prohibiting school boards, city councils and other local governments from discriminating against people based on their “reproductive” choices.

However, Elisa Martinez, executive director of the New Mexico Alliance for Life, said the legislation is even more extreme than that.

“This bill will force every public school and teacher across the state to facilitate elective abortions and transgender hormones and surgery,” Martinez said in an email this week. “This is the most tyrannical and overreaching health care bill in the nation putting transgender procedures and abortions above the constitutional rights of every New Mexican.”

During a meeting Friday before the state House Health and Human Services Committee, state Rep. Jenifer Jones, R-Deming, raised these concerns and mentioned the “overwhelming response” she has received from constituents in opposition to the bill, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

Responding, Ellie Rushforth, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, contended that the bill would not force teachers to help students get abortions, the report continues.

“What this bill does not do is create an affirmative duty to provide health care they do not already provide or they do not feel comfortable providing,” Rushforth said. “It doesn’t change medical care standards, clinical guidelines, anything of that nature.”

ACTION ALERT: To oppose the bill, please Contact New Mexico lawmakers.

But New Mexico Alliance for Life pointed to language in the bill that prohibits any public institution that receives taxpayer funding and its employees from interfering with or denying a person’s access to abortion. Institutions that violate the mandate could face penalties of up to $5,000.

In other words, a public school teacher could be required to help facilitate a secret abortion for a student “despite the best interest of the child” and even if they believe abortion is wrong, according to the pro-life organization.

Despite the strong public opposition, the committee passed the bill in a 7-3 vote Friday along party lines, according to the Albuquerque newspaper.

Serrato argued that her bill is necessary to help New Mexicans access health care, especially in rural parts of the state, the report continues.

“As we know, health care in New Mexico can be hard to find, hard to reach,” Serrato said. “This bill ensures we’re not adding fear on top of that.”

However, state Sen. Gregg Schmedes, R-Bernalillo, a medical doctor, said the legislation is dangerous and anti-scientific in a statement this week.

“As a parent and practicing physician, I am deeply concerned about HB 7 forcing teachers and public employees to facilitate elective procedures – despite the best interest of our children,” Schmedes said. “There are negative impacts to the mental, physical and emotional health of any elective procedure and HB 7 completely ignores the actual science.”

The bill now moves to the state House Judiciary Committee for consideration. Democrats control the New Mexico legislature, and state laws allow unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to birth.

Recently, local governments in conservative parts of the state have been passing ordinances to protect unborn babies from abortion and prevent abortion businesses from opening there. These ordinances have angered pro-abortion Democrat leaders, and House Bill 7 is one of their efforts to try to stop local pro-life efforts.

Martinez of the New Mexico Alliance for Life said the bill would take power out of the hands of local citizens and give it to already powerful bureaucrats to “force compliance for these elective procedures.”

Not only would the bill seek to force every taxpayer-funded institution to facilitate abortions and transgender surgeries, it also would ban any effort by local lawmaking bodies from addressing these issues, she said, quoting the bill, which states, “a public body or agent of a public body shall not impose or continue in effect any law, ordinance, policy or regulation that violates or conflicts with the provisions” set forth in the bill.

The pro-life organization urged state residents to contact their lawmakers and sign a petition against the bill.

ACTION ALERT: To oppose the bill, please Contact New Mexico lawmakers.