New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who supposedly is Catholic, signed a pro-abortion bill Thursday to stop local communities from protecting unborn babies from abortion.
Pro-life leaders say language in the bill potentially also could allow infanticide and would force public school teachers to help students get abortions.
Fox News reports Democrat lawmakers’ primary stated goal for House Bill 7 is to thwart voters’ efforts to protect unborn babies by passing pro-life ordinances at the local government level.
Two counties and three cities in the state recently passed ordinances through the Sanctuary City for the Unborn movement that were crafted to protect unborn babies from abortion, and others are considering doing the same.
The law that Grisham signed Thursday attempts to override the ordinances and stop others from passing similar pro-life protections. Sponsored by state Rep. Linda Serrato, D-Santa Fe, the legislation is supposed to protect “access to reproductive and gender-affirming health care” by prohibiting school boards, city councils and other local governments from discriminating against people based on their “reproductive” choices.
Serrato said her bill will help New Mexicans access “health care,” especially in rural parts of the state. By health care, she meant elective abortions that kill unborn babies.
“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.”
Click here to sign up for pro-life news alerts from LifeNews.com
But Elisa Martinez, executive director of the New Mexico Alliance for Life, said the legislation essentially would create an abortion compliance mandate for teachers and other public employees.
Her organization 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.
“Ideologically driven legislation like this has exact opposite affect to what the sponsors proclaim, as it is a mandate on behavior to refer or participate in abortions and transgender procedures for every public employee,” Martinez said in February.
The American Center for Law and Justice, a leading pro-life law firm, said the new law, coupled with a second bill, Senate Bill 13, potentially also could allow infanticide.
“HB 7 and HB 13 do contain the term ‘perinatal’ as one of the elements of reproductive health care with which the government [or agent of] cannot interfere, deny or restrict,” ACLJ attorney Olivia Summers said. “By including the section that prohibits prosecution or punishment for not seeking perinatal care, the bill appears to be a cleverly crafted way to specifically protect against a failure to seek perinatal care for a baby born alive following a botched abortion.”
This winter, Republican lawmakers spoke out passionately about protecting unborn babies and introduced several amendments to the bill, but none passed. Democrats control the state legislature by a strong majority, and the governor is a pro-abortion Democrat.
“I know that we don’t want to know that this baby is a baby,” said Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington, prior to the Senate vote. “I know we want to hide that fact from each other because it helps our conscience. As long as we don’t know what we’re killing, then it doesn’t hurt as bad.”
New Mexico has some of the most pro-abortion laws in the country. The state allows unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to birth and forces taxpayers to pay for their deaths.
Its Democrat leaders have been working aggressively to expand abortions even more since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year. Grisham recently promised to spend $10 million of taxpayers’ money to build a new abortion facility near the Texas border. Texas laws protect unborn babies from abortion.