[UPDATED] Session 2017 Recap: How Did Progress for Women Do?

UPDATE: Here’s how three important bills we were tracking ended up this session: (1) Health Coverage for Contraception (HB 284) – a bill aiming to expand contraceptive access by covering both women and men and requiring insurance companies to cover up to one year’s supply of contraception at once – passed the House and one Senate committee but wasn’t voted on by the whole Senate. (2) Hospital Patient Protections (SB 282) would have prevented New Mexico hospitals (often religious institutions) from blocking reproductive health care that could put a patient’s life or health in danger. It, however, was not voted on by the full Senate. (3) In a major win, the Pregnant Worker Accommodation Act (HB 179) passed both houses and now awaits action by the Governor. This important bill will ensure pregnant workers will be able to continue working and support their families while they are pregnant.

VICTORY: All Three Anti-Abortion Bills Tabled in the Roundhouse

The three anti-abortion bills we told you were headed to the Roundhouse last week have been all but defeated, thanks to your swift action, true testimonies, and declarations of support for New Mexico women and their families.  

HB 37 (“Born Alive), HB 220 (20-week Abortion Ban) and HB 221 (Abortion by Parental Consent) have all be tabled for the 2017 New Mexico Legislative Session, ensuring that the reproductive choices of New Mexico women, their privacy, a woman’s right to decide will remain intact until they are again challenged by the religious right, and they will be. Here’s a short summary of how things unfolded this week:

HB 37, the Forced Medical Intervention Act, otherwise known by the pro-life, radical right as the “Born Alive Bill,” would have blocked women, their families, and their healthcare providers from making personalized medical decisions. This bill was tabled in the Judiciary House & Human Affairs committee on Thursday, March 2 in the afternoon having been postponed and rescheduled twice. After grueling 6+ hours of testimony, the bill was defeated, also causing the other two bills that were planned to be heard in the same committee to roll over to the next available date.

BIG WIN: Anti-Abortion Bill Defeated in the Roundhouse

One of three Draconian abortion bills was heard in the Roundhouse today and was precipitously and successfully struck down. The Forced Medical Intervention Act, otherwise known by the pro-life, radical right as the “Born Alive Bill,” was tabled the House Consumer and Public Affairs committee after a marathon hearing full of voices of doctors and women supporting their own right to make their own health care decisions. This misleading bill that would compromise the health and welfare of patients and would criminalize the work of medical providers. Similar bills had been introduced in previous sessions where sponsors made last-minute attempts to revive them from committees in the final days of the session. Did you know?

Women’s Health Care to face major challenge this Thursday. Help DEFEAT three Draconian bills

More Progressive candidates on ballots with every election, three of the top positions within the Democrat’s majority leadership occupied by women, and several wins for women’s health care this legislative session, New Mexico will soon implement many of the progressive policies we champion. But before we celebrate, there are three weeks left in this session, and MORE hurdles to leap over. We need your help TOMORROW. We need you to RSVP right now, then come to the Roundhouse this Thursday to help up defeat three draconian bills. We must show lawmakers that we respect the lives and reproductive decisions of women in New Mexico.

12-month contraception bill goes before the House Judiciary Committee today

On Monday afternoon at the Roundhouse, HB 284 moves forward to the House Judiciary Committee where legislators will take the next step in favor of New Mexico women truly taking access to birth control in their own hands.  

It’s time to simplify the lives of New Mexico women by eliminating the need to visit a pharmacy every 30 or 90 days to refill prescriptions. Access to 12- month contraception is not only a convenience, it would reduce the chance of an unintended pregnancy. If you believe in New Mexico women and families being allowed to managed their reproductive decisions, please show your support at today’s hearing:
HB 284
HEALTH COVERAGE FOR CONTRACEPTION
HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
1:30PM
(Please arrive early.)

Having control over their own bodies and their own reproductive health is essential for New Mexico women. TAKE ACTION TODAY!

“Or You Could Just Quit.” Why the Pregnant Worker Accommodations Bill is Important for New Mexico Women

[UPDATE: On March 14, HB 179, the Pregnant Worker Accommodations bill PASSES in the Judiciary.]
It was a harrowing moment. Just before bringing the committee to a vote, as Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson raced through the halls to the committee room, having appeared only minutes before on the Roundhouse floor in support of one of her bills, Representative Gail Chasey (Dem. Bernalillo) asked observers (many of whom delivered compelling testimonies) for a show of hands — who was in favor of HB 179 The Pregnant Work Accommodation Bill that would expand protections for pregnant women in the workplace. In a jam-packed room, those in favor of HB 179 raised their hands. They represented women who had struggled to keep their jobs during their pregnancies, doctors who counseled their patients on how to maintain their health during inflexible employment, ACLU lawyers, members of Respect New Mexico Women and mothers who had given birth to healthy children, no thanks to their workplaces that made them choose — one more trip to the restroom or a dock in pay.

The Best Song About Abortion You’ve Never Heard

It’s been a long but productive week for women’s healthcare in the New Mexico Legislature so we thought we’d celebrate with a song. With your support, the late-term abortion ban, SB 183 has perished in committee for another year, and both the pregnant worker protection bill, HB 179, and HB 284, the contraception coverage bill, move on to the Judiciary committee. Yeah! We’ll admit it’s not easy to find a catchy tune you can dance to that’s in favor of a woman’s right to healthcare and a safe and legal abortion. Go ahead, give it a shot.

Take Action: Healthcare Coverage for Contraception Bill Needs your Support

[UPDATE: HB 284 is scheduled to go before the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, February 27 at 1:30pm.]
You called, emailed your legislator, and you showed up in big numbers today and you helped DEFEAT an archaic bill. We thank you! But New Mexico women STILL need your support! On Wednesday morning at the Roundhouse, should HB 284 move forward in the House Health and Human Services Committee hearing, women across the state will advance the cause of consistent and reliable access to birth control. Eliminating the need to visit a pharmacy every 30 or 90 days to refill prescriptions, will reduce the chance of an unintended pregnancy.