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.
Three abortion access bills will be heard in the Roundhouse this Thursday that threaten the reproductive choices of New Mexico women, their privacy, a woman’s right to decide — and there’s something you can do about it.
[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.
This week ProgressNow NM and Planned Parenthood delivered more than 500 signatures of students, faculty, health care providers, and legislators to the University of New Mexico Board of Regents. This was just our latest way of pushing back against the GOP’s ongoing attempts to strip New Mexicans of their reproductive rights and access to health care. Several of our recent posts have explored the GOP witch hunt into the use of fetal tissue and their uncanny ability to confuse sorcery with science. The field of medicine has utilized fetal tissue since the 1930s to produce life-saving vaccines, along with the development of new ways to treat AIDS, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, cancer, and eyesight loss. Fetal tissue has been instrumental to understanding the needs of babies born prematurely.
[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.
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.