Session 2017 Recap: How Did Progress for Women Do?

Reproductive rights are human rights, and New Mexicans know it. While in places like Ohio, where a lawmaker referred to women as “hosts” and proposed a bill where fathers must approve of abortions, the women of New Mexico and their families are the big winners of the 2017 New Mexico Legislature proving that all aspects of a woman’s reproductive life is critical, even the right to a safe and legal abortion. After a battle of words, often late into the night, champions of women’s health fought to expand the rights of women across the state now wait on the final verdicts as the bills pile up on the Governor’s desk. Riding the momentum of the Women’s March on Washington, the Respect NM Women Campaign was launched on February 7 to champion three bills that would expand the reproductive rights of women.  

HB473, the hearing to decriminalize abortion, is underway.

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?

Two women’s health bills on the fast track this week

There are two reproductive health bills coming up this week that could impact women and their families in our communities. On Tuesday afternoon February 21, the Senate Public Affairs Committee will hear SB 282, the Put Patients First Act, which ensures that hospitals cannot practice religious refusal to withhold reproductive health services women. Then, on Friday, February 24 the Pregnant Worker Accommodation Bill, HB 179 is back for another round of hearings and testimony. It’s time to ensure that pregnant workers can continue to do their jobs and support their families by having access to reasonable accommodations for needs arising out of pregnancy. READ MORE: The Pregnant Worker Accommodation Bill (HB 179) requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations to women who are pregnant and must adjust duties that may challenge their health and their pregnancy.”
Click here to view the legislative schedule.

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.

Tell Senators to VOTE NO on SB 183

[UPDATE: We’re proud to say that due to your efforts, SB 183 has been killed in committee. THANK YOU for your show of support and your testimonies.]

We need you to take action on an abortion bill moving through the Roundhouse TOMORROW. On Tuesday, February 14, the Senate Public Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on SB 183 that threatens to ban women’s access to a safe and legal abortion later in the pregnancy. Each pregnancy is unique. A woman making the personal and complex decision about abortion later in pregnancy needs access to safe and legal health care without government interference.

Respect New Mexico Women Launches Campaign that Champions Reproductive Legislation

“We’re going to ensure that regardless of what they do federally, in New Mexico we take care of women and families and let them choose what’s best for them in deciding if and when and how often to have children.” — Rep. Deborah Armstrong, D-Albuquerque

Respect New Mexico Women, a coalition of organizations, supporters, and healthcare providers launched their 2017 legislative campaign today at the NM State Capitol. In a packed meeting room, the Respect Campaign described three bills the coalition will introduce in committee during the 2017 New Mexico Legislative Session. The bills are designed to protect and expand legislation that safeguards reproductive healthcare for women. Read about the Respect Campaign Press Conference at NM Political Report.