Historic abortion ban repeal one signature away from becoming law after it passes House

The NM Political Report

Susan Dunlap

The bill that would repeal a state statute that criminalizes abortion care in New Mexico is now headed to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk after the House of Representatives passed it on a 40 to 30 vote.

This is a priority bill for Lujan Grisham and she has indicated that she would sign it into law. 

The House of Representatives took up SB 10 instead of HB 7, which are mirror bills. SB 10 already passed the state Senate by a vote of 25 to 17 on February 12, and was amended to clarify the bill’s title. Each chamber must pass identical legislation before it can be sent to the governor.

Just as during the Senate floor debate, Republicans in the House attempted to amend the bill and argued for hours over keeping the section of the law that is considered by some healthcare workers as a refusal clause. But the New Mexico Medical Society and other physician groups support the law’s full repeal and the lead sponsor of the House bill, Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena, a Democrat from Mesilla, argued that there are already provisions in place to protect healthcare workers who object to providing care. . . [Full Text]

House passes aid-in-dying legislation

Albuquerque Journal

Dan McKay

SANTA FE — For a few hours Friday night, New Mexico legislators shared stories about watching their loved ones die.Her daughter, Erin, now faces an inoperable brain tumor.

In a debate on the House floor, Democratic Rep. Deborah Armstrong of Albuquerque walked her colleagues through the final days of life of her father in law and, later, a close friend. . .

The tearful debate culminated in 39-27 vote to endorse a proposal that would allow terminally ill patients to seek a doctor’s help to end their life — the first time a medical aid-in-dying bill has passed a chamber of the state Legislature. The legislation, House Bill 47, now heads to the Senate. . . [Full text]

Right to refuse is a key issue in abortion debate

Albuquerque Journal

Dan Boyd, Dan McKay

SANTA FE – Discussions about abortion laws in New Mexico have always had moral and religious overtones.

But this year’s debate at the Roundhouse over bills to repeal a long-dormant 1969 state abortion ban has also hinged on a “conscience clause” in the abortion statute that allows health care practitioners to decide not to participate in such procedures.

Critics of the legislation, which passed the Senate last week and could move quickly through the House, say repealing the abortion ban would lead to an exodus of health care workers, especially in rural New Mexico.

But backers claim the argument is a red herring and point to other conscience protections in state and federal law that would remain in place if the abortion law is repealed. . . [Full text]

In historic turn, state Senate passes abortion ban repeal

The New Mexico Political Report

Susan Dunlap

Two years after a group of conservative Democrats, along with  Republicans voted against  decriminalizing abortion care, the state Senate passed SB 10 Thursday, 25 to 17.

SB 10, sponsored by state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, is called the Respect New Mexico Women and Families Act and has a mirror bill, HB 7, sponsored by Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena, D-Mesilla. The two bills remove three sections from the criminal code which, in 1969, banned abortion with some limited exceptions.

The law has repeatedly been called archaic and advocates for its repeal said it included language contrary to how medicine is currently practiced. . . . [Full text]

Bill to decriminalize abortion passes House committee

The NM Political Report

Susan Dunlap

The House Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill that would decriminalize abortion by a vote of 8 to 3, including one Republican who crossed the aisle.

State House Rep. Phelps Anderson, a Republican from Roswell, sided with the seven Democrats on the committee who voted yes to HB 7. Just before the bill went to vote, Anderson expressed some of his views.

“Many people who have spoken to me have expressed strong opinions but I find myself saying I’m not sure one voting yes or no changes anything that is very important to me and, secondly, the issues that have been raised are not encompassed within this bill,” Anderson said.

HB 7 will, if it passes the full New Mexico Legislature, repeal a law written in 1969. The law bans abortion except for cases of incest, rape, the life of the patient or severe mental or physical problems for the fetus. The law is not enforceable because of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision. . . . [Full text]