A New Mexico House committee advanced a radical, “up-to-the millisecond before birth” abortion bill Monday, moving it one step closer to final passage.
According to NM Political Report, the state House Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 10 in an 8-4 vote with all Republicans opposing it.
With Democrats in control of the state House, the bill appears likely to become law. The state Senate passed the bill last week, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham supports it. The state House also is considering a nearly identical bill, state House Bill 7.
“Not only are HB 7 & SB 10 up-to-the millisecond before birth abortion bills, they also will remove the state’s only explicit conscience protection,” New Mexico Right to Life responded in an email to pro-lifers. “Don’t be deceived, this is the publicly stated goal of the abortion lobby … as they seek to force NM medical professionals to assist or even perform abortions up to birth, ‘through litigation, advocacy and public education.’”
Sponsored by state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Bernalillo, the pro-abortion bill would repeal a 1969 New Mexico 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 The statute is not in effect because of Roe v. Wade, but if it is repealed, the state would continue to allow unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to birth even if Roe is overturned.
The bill also would repeal the only conscience protections for pro-life medical workers in the state. Currently, the statute protects medical workers from discrimination if they refuse to abort an unborn baby on moral or religious grounds.
State Sen. Gregg Schmedes, a medical doctor, warned that medical professionals will leave the state if the bill passes. He gave examples of doctors and nurses who lost their jobs, faced prosecution or were sanctioned in places where conscience protection laws are inadequate.
“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,” Schmedes said, according to the Los Alamos Reporter.
New Mexico Alliance for Life also pointed to a statement from state Sen. Jacob Candelaria, a pro-abortion Democrat, who admitted that medical workers should not be allowed to discriminate – meaning they should be forced to either abort an unborn baby or refer the mother to someone who will.
Pro-abortion Democrat lawmakers argue that the legislation is necessary because the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade.
The Albuquerque Journal reports state Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena, D-Mesilla, framed the legislation as a matter of women’s health care.
She said the bill “really is saying that we trust New Mexicans to make these decisions for themselves.”
According to the Farmington Daily Times, Senate Republicans introduced several amendments and substitute bills, including one that would have banned abortions on unborn babies after 20 weeks and another after 35 weeks. They also introduced a conscience protection clause to protect pro-life medical workers from being forced to abort unborn babies.
However, Democrats rejected all of them.
“This is truly a sad day for our state,” said state Sen. William Sharer, R-Farmington, in a statement after the Senate vote. “In addition to sending a message that unborn children’s lives do not matter, we are weakening standards of care for women and repealing the only abortion-related conscience clause we have.”
Pro-life leaders urged people to keep calling the governor and lawmakers and urge them to reject the pro-abortion 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,” said Elisa Martinez, executive director of the New Mexico Alliance for Life.
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.