“We are now seeing the direct consequences of the 2014 elections. With a Republican in the Speaker’s seat in our House of Representatives, New Mexicans must now face these regressive policies. We should not be passing legislation on these issues at the state level.”
House Minority Leader Brian Egolf
[UPDATE]: Both of the anti-abortion bills discussed in this article — HB 390 and HB 391 — were tabled in their first Senate committee. Read more about what happened from the New Mexico Political Report HERE.
While it was a horribly anti-progressive bill itself, a progressive victory was won last night as the Senate Public Affairs Committee tabled a sneaky anti-abortion bill that would have had serious consequences for abortion access had it passed. Senator Craig Brandt’s “Physician Admitting Privileges for Abortions” bill would have required doctors who perform abortions to also have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the procedure is performed. These kinds of laws are known as TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) and are simply another strategy that abortion opponents are using to slowly chip away at abortion access. Sen. Brandt’s bill was tabled on a party-line vote last night, with all the Democrats voting against it (Senators Ortiz y Pino, Stewart, Ivery-Soto, and Candelaria). If you’re unfamiliar with these laws, here’s how an LA Times op-ed from last year described them:
Unlike personhood initiatives, TRAP laws are designed to fly under the radar, by mimicking ordinary health regulations.
[UPDATE]: The New Mexico Political Report has a story out today about the fate of Rep. Gail Chasey’s pregnant worker bill, which is now uncertain. CLICK HERE TO READ.
Two innovative bills currently moving through the NM House seek to help New Mexico’s women access healthcare and accommodate pregnant women in the workplace. Helping NM’s Pregnant Workers
12 states have passed laws requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers and now Rep. Gail Chasey wants New Mexico to do the same. Rep. Chasey’s “Pregnant Worker Accommodation Act” would require employers with more than 4 employees to provide pregnant workers reasonable accommodations that do not present undue hardships on the employer.
MAUREEN SANDERS is a practicing attorney, a former professor at the UNM School of Law, and serves on the volunteer legal panel of the ACLU-NM. Ms. Sanders also successfully argued the marriage equality case in front of the NM Supreme Court in 2013. This speech was given by Ms. Sanders at the Planned Parenthood New Mexico Breakfast of Champions on JANUARY 29, 2015, in Santa Fe, NM.
Good morning! Thanks for inviting me to share a few thoughts with you this morning. I know in these days of constant attack against the reproductive rights of women in this country, a sense of sadness and helplessness can creep into to our collective consciousness. I don’t think we need or should go there. If we do, the attackers will have won by wearing us down. I could say “I have a dream” but somebody else already used that line—and much more eloquently than I ever could.
Susana Martinez’s high-profile campaign manager came under fire from the right-wing base this weekend after he confronted a group of anti-Martinez protestors and called them “pieces of shit,” according to organizers of the event. Here’s how it went down: conservative anti-abortion groups have publicly called for Governor Martinez’s resignation after she refused to become involved in 20-week abortion ban campaign they promoted in Albuquerque last fall (Martinez has long said that she is pro-life). This weekend, organizers took their anti-Martinez protest to the neighborhood where her campaign manager, Jay McCleskey, lives. From the public sidewalk in front of his home, they lined up with anti-Martinez signs and messages opposing abortion and held a public prayer vigil.
Valencia County, NM — By a 3-2 vote, Valencia County Commissioners advanced an Albuquerque-like abortion ban measure that could make Valencia County the first in the nation to insert politicians between doctors and women facing difficult decisions.Voters in the City of Albuquerque recently defeated an almost identical ballot measure question in a first-of-its-kind municipal vote on the issue.As we first reported in November, Valencia County (20 minutes south of Albuquerque) took the opportunity to propose its own ban as a county ordinance, avoiding a special election and instead permitting the 5 elected commissioners to decide the issue.With their recent vote, the commission moved the proposed ordinance forward for full consideration and public comment at their next meeting on December 11. The vote could come as early as December 20th. The 3-2 vote indicates early support by at least 3 commissioners for debate and possible passage. Voting for advancing the measure were bill sponsor Commissioners Romero, Aragon and Eaton.ProgressNow NM has launched a public petition which permits signers to send their comments directly to commissioners. View and sign the petition here: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/keep-valencia-county?source=c.url&r_by=2435700Read the full story from the Valencia News-Bulletin below:Commission to hold public hearing on late-term abortion ban ordinanceby Julia M. Dendinger | Nov 21, 2013 | Filed under: Breaking News On a 3-2 vote, Valencia County commissioners pushed a proposed late term abortion ordinance forward for public hearing Wednesday evening. The vote does not approve the ordinance, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks in the unincorporated areas of the county, but rather publishes the legal title and begins the countdown to a public hearing.The public will be able to present arguments, both for and against the proposed ordinance, at a hearing at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the county commission chambers, 444 Luna Ave., in Los Lunas.A vote on the ordinance will most likely be scheduled for the commissioners’ Dec. 20 meeting.The ordinance was sponsored by Commissioner Lawrence Romero, and his motion to publish was seconded by Commissioner Jhonathan Aragon.The discussion amongst the commissioners didn’t debate the contents of the ordinance, but instead focused on the possible legal repercussions for the county if it is approved.Commissioner Alicia Aguilar asked if the attorneys could clarify what the cost of the ordinance would be.“I’m just asking questions,” Aguilar said. “I’m not addressing the issue, whether I’m for or against.”County Attorney Adren Nance said unlike the city of Albuquerque, the county would not hold and pay for a special election on the ordinance.“You had also asked about the cost for enforcement,” Nance said.
Santa Fe, New Mexico – Victims of rape and incest will be felons if at least one New Mexico lawmaker gets her way. “Exhibit A” legislation, proposed as HB206 this week in the state legislature, forces women to carry fetuses conceived from rape to term so they can be showcased as “evidence” in court. The bill also criminalizes women who seek out abortions resulting from rape or incest.The actual language of the proposed bill says enough: “Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result or criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.”If passed, victims of rape and incest who seek to end a pregnancy resulting from rape could be sentenced to three years in prison. “In addition to being blatantly unconstitutional, the bill turns victims of rape and incest, who have just been through a horrible sexual assault, into felons and forces them to become incubators of evidence for the state,” says Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive non-profit opposing the bill. “According to Republican philosophy, victims who are ‘legitimately raped’ will now have to carry the fetus to term in order to prove their case. “HB206 was introduced in the New Mexico Legislature by Republican State Representative Cathrynn Brown (R) of Carlsbad.