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?

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.

3 Bills Aim to Protect Reproductive Rights in New Mexico

[UPDATE: SB 282 Passed in the House Judiciary Committee, March 10! Now it moves on the the Governor’s desk.]

Respect New Mexico Women, a coalition of local organizations committed to supporting women’s health care access launched their reproductive agenda this week with a trio of legislative bills that expand the reproductive rights of women in our state, where New Mexicans remain unapologetically in favor of a woman’s right to access all forms of healthcare, including abortion. This is not necessarily true across the nation, where supporters, activists and healthcare providers face the possibility of dangerous rollbacks in legislation. Committees are reviewing at least forty-six anti-abortion bills in 14 states that challenge access to reproductive health including the right to a legal and safe abortion. With the appointment of religious zealot Betsy DeVos, whose family money has “funded crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs)” that lie to patients about pregnancy, abortion, and other health concerns,” women’s health may soon find itself in limbo, but not yet.

Without Planned Parenthood, New Mexico Men Will Lose Services Too

Planned Parenthood inches ever closer to being defunded as part of the GOP’s gleeful plan to dismantle Medicare, Medicaid, and gut the Affordable Care Act. As soon as President-elect Trump takes office, 40% of Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer-funded budget could vanish, leaving hundreds of thousands of women without health care (or access to a safe, legal abortion). Women aren’t the only ones at risk. There are health concerns that impact men only – Planned Parenthood provides services for them as well. Men are also at risk when it comes to the loss of Planned Parenthood funding.

Did President Obama Just Save Planned Parenthood from Donald Trump?

President Barack Obama, in his final days in the White House, isn’t running down the clock like it’s the last week of school before summer vacation. Over the holiday break, the Obama Administration proposed a new rule that prevents states from defunding Planned Parenthood, or any other family planning provider, and it is sheer genius. Under the rule, states can no longer vote to defund Planned Parenthood simply because some of its clinics offer abortion services. According to the Huffington Post:
The new rule, which the Department of Health and Human Services proposed last week, says that states cannot withhold Title X federal family planning money from certain recipients for any reason other than the provider’s “ability to deliver services to program beneficiaries in an effective manner.” That means states can no longer vote to defund Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics offer abortion services. The Obama Administration may be in the throes of making its transition, but President Obama still has real work to do to ensure not all of his progressive choices and policies get rolled back by Trump and his cronies.

No Más Bebés

They came to the hospital to safely deliver their babies. They went home sterilized by the doctors who delivered their children. The documentary film No Más Bebés, chronicles the story of Mexican American women sterilized under duress, stress and coercion, even in the early moments of giving birth, at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical center in the 1960s and 1970s. https://youtu.be/38Aj9HMLcRQ

There will be a special screening of the film followed by a talk-back on Thursday, October 27 at the Domenici Center for Health Sciences Education, 1001 Stanford NE, Albuquerque, 5pm. Immediately following the film, Young Women United, the presenter of the event will host a dialogue with one of the film’s producers, Virginia Espino. If coerced or forced sterilization by American doctors in California sounds like some future dystopia, know that the horrific “science” of eugenics has been practiced in the United States since the early 20th Century with the first bill proposed to sterilize “undesirables” in 1849. The bill was never brought to vote, but it emboldened those eager to outnumber the “other” to continue the development of their weird science in the decades to come.

The Strange Case of The Hyde Amendment

Friday, September 30 marks an anniversary that remains a bitter pill to swallow for many people in favor of women’s health and reproductive rights. The pro-life statute, the Hyde Amendment, turns 40 years old. Access to healthcare varies from state- to-state, race, age and economic status- even from woman to woman within her own social circle.  Today, New Mexico is one of thirteen states in the nation that interprets their state constitutions to declare broad and independent protection for reproductive choice.  

Thanks to the ever-vigilant progressives in New Mexico, women have more access to reproductive healthcare than many women in the United States.