New Mexico Town Sues Governor to Keep Law Protecting Babies From Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 18, 2023   |   10:01AM   |   Santa Fe, New Mexico

A small New Mexico city just sued pro-abortion Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for trying to stop local governments like theirs from protecting unborn babies from abortion.

On Monday, Eunice city leaders announced the lawsuit defending their new Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance at a press conference in Washington, D.C.

“Abortion is not a savior. Abortion is a destroyer,” city councilwoman Erica Jones said. “Today is for all of the children in America: the born and the unborn. They too deserve to be loved, cared for and protected.”

The lawsuit asks the courts to resolve conflicting local, state and federal laws about abortion. The Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance, which Eunice and several New Mexico cities and counties recently passed, seeks to protect unborn babies by requiring compliance with the federal Comstock Act, a law that prohibits the mailing and receiving of abortion-inducing drugs and abortion paraphernalia.

However, Grisham and state Attorney General Raul Torrez, who also is named in the lawsuit, recently filed their own challenge against the Cities of Hobbs and Clovis and Counties of Lea and Roosevelt for their Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances. And at the end of March, the New Mexico Supreme Court temporarily blocked enforcement of their ordinances. Eunice is not named in Torrez’s lawsuit because its ordinance passed the same day as the lawsuit was filed.

REACH PRO-LIFE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE! Advertise with LifeNews to reach hundreds of thousands of pro-life readers every week. Contact us today.

This spring, the state legislature also passed House Bill 7 to prohibit local governments from interfering with the so-called “right to reproductive health care,” including elective abortions for any reason up to birth, which are legal in New Mexico.

But Eunice city leaders said federal law should trump the state law and the governor’s actions, and their city should be allowed to enforce its ordinance. This “simply requires compliance with existing federal laws on abortion,” Mayor Bill Hobbs said at the press conference.

State Sen. David Gallegos, R-Eunice, who also spoke, said he warned other lawmakers that House Bill 7 was “illegal” before it passed.

“Knowing there would likely be a lawsuit, our legislative body willfully and defiantly disregarded and subverted these federal statutes,” Gallegos said. “We had bipartisan opposition to this bill in both the House and Senate, and the fact that this bill even passed shows that we have much work to do in our state.”

In response to the lawsuit, Lauren Rodriguez, spokesperson for the New Mexico Attorney General, told the Albuquerque Journal that their office “is prepared to take formal legal action to prevent any jurisdiction from adopting similar ordinances once the outstanding legal questions have been resolved by the New Mexico Supreme Court.”

Here’s more from the report:

Albuquerque attorney Michael Seibel, who is representing Eunice along with Tommy Parker from Hobbs and Jonathan Mitchell from Texas, said they are essentially arguing the Comstock Laws are the “supreme laws of the land” and preempt any state laws.

The suit also asks the judge to declare that federal law outlaw all “shipment and receipt of abortion pills and abortion-related paraphernalia throughout the United States,” regardless of whether a customer could legally use them where they reside.

City leaders and pro-life advocates expressed hope that the case will go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

By fighting against abortion, Councilwoman Jones said Eunice city leaders are following the oath that they took when they became public servants.

“Today is a day where our voice will be heard,” Jones said. “I took an oath to make decisions based on the health and welfare of my community … We have these federal laws for a reason, and our governor and attorney general and many in our legislature would have us ignore these federal laws.”

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 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.

But many rural communities in New Mexico support legal protections for babies in the womb, and several passed Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances to stop the abortion industry’s migration from Texas. The City of Hobbs was the first to pass the ordinance after local pro-lifers learned that the Whole Women’s Health abortion chain wanted to move there. The abortion chain eventually abandoned its plans and decided to open in Albuquerque instead.

Unlike similar ordinances in other states, the Sanctuary City for the Unborn measures in New Mexico do not outlaw abortion directly. Instead, they protect unborn babies by requiring compliance with federal abortion statutes – specifically 18 U.S.C. §§ 1461–1462, which prohibit the mailing and the receiving of abortion-inducing drugs and abortion paraphernalia within city limits.