Let’s start off with some numbers: Since 2008, the equivalent of 33.5 barrels of oil PER DAY has been spilled in New Mexico. A barrel is measured at 42 US gallons, so that means every day 1,407 gallons of crude are leaked, spilled, and otherwise not properly contained in our state.
On February 1, 2019. State Representative Joanne Ferrary’s Keep Abortion Safe and Legal Bill (HB #51) was heard in the House Judiciary Committee. This bill is a statewide effort to protect women’s access to reproductive healthcare by ensuring that patients and medical providers will not be criminalized when healthcare is provided. Before Roe v. Wade was decided, the State of New Mexico passed a bill in 1968 that would have outlawed abortion in nearly any circumstance. While access to abortion is necessary, we cannot ignore that in our own state, the racism that surrounded (and continues to surround) Indigenous, immigrant, Black, and differently-abled folks, had their reproductive rights stripped from them.
The legislative session is upon us and State Representative Joanne Ferrary’s Keep Abortion Safe and Legal Bill will be one of the most watched bills in New Mexico and nationwide. The fight continues to protect women’s access to reproductive healthcare and passing this bill would be a significant step forward in this effort. We recognize that change takes a movement, a movement built from the ground up by people like YOU! ProgressNow New Mexico is bringing you a multimedia series of covering the hard work done by partners across the state helping in this fight. Why are we doing this?
Healthcare is not a crime. But, all over the country, Republican-led state legislatures are working hard to criminalize pregnant people and doctors when it comes to abortion. In New Mexico, we can hold our own beliefs about abortion but respect that personal decision as something for our family members and neighbors to make for themselves. We keep our doors and hearts open to those around us and across the country- those whose access to safe and legal abortion is being stripped away. Join ProgressNow New Mexico as we work with our partners at the Respect New Mexico Women Coalition to repeal the outdated criminal statute in order to protect access to safe and legal abortion by signing on to our petition now- click here to sign.
In these political times, so much gets lost in the rhetoric and the sound bites. There are so many marginalized groups that are negatively impacted by the policies of the Trump Administration, putting real lives in danger. The lives that are not talked about too much in the media are Native lives. Thanks to Congresswoman-elect Debra Haaland (NM-1) and Congresswoman-elect Sharice Davids (KS-3), the concerns that Native peoples have will be amplified, one of them being blood quantum’s place in politics; blood quantum, or how “Native” or “Indian” one is, determines whether or not a Native person will have access to certain benefits the federal government has agreed to provide Native peoples in exchange for land and other natural resources as well as access to their own natural resources. It is not a coincidence that more tribes have needed to reconsider their blood quantums and tribal constitutions.
There were record numbers of New Mexicans voting in this midterm election compared to 2014 and many of the races turned out in the ways that families needed them to- there were 163,347 more voters this midterm than in 2014, with 54% of eligible voters casting their ballots. What’s more, people who are truly representative of New Mexico’s diversity won last night. Women from all different backgrounds ran in record numbers and won: state House races, judge seats, and the governor’s mansion. The state has its first female Land Commissioner, Stephanie Garcia Richard, and is sending one of two of the first Native American women to Congress, Deb Haaland, elected the first openly gay sheriff, Kim Stewart, in state history, and after a grueling recount, Xochitl Torress Small managed to flip the NM’s 2nd District and become the first woman to represent that area in Congress!
The Blue (and pink) Wave in New Mexico
Common sense was on the ballot yesterday. There were House races all over the state we watched closely and last night Progressive candidates were swept into office.
Last week, the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Native American Voting Taskforce (NAVTF) met at the Pueblo of Laguna in Casa Blanca. The Secretary of State worked in collaboration with the League of Women Voters to give election information that is specific for Native communities. These voter guides have information about the candidates on the ballots, the questions that will be on the ballot, and voting location dates. Native language translation will be available to Native people as well. After the Taskforce met, there was a training for interpreters who will be responsible for what will be aired on the radio stations where tribal communities are located.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America just announced their new president, Dr. Leana Wen. This is the first time in fifty years that a physician has been the president of Planned Parenthood. Dr. Wen was the “Doctor for the City” in Baltimore, where she served as the city’s Commissioner of Health. What does this mean for New Mexico? Dr. Wen’s experiences as a Chinese immigrant whose family relied on Medicaid and who personally relied on the services of Planned Parenthood as well as her dedication to public health means she knows firsthand what many rural and urban communities and communities of color face when it comes to health disparities.
Janice Arnold-Jones went on Fox News and insinuated that because Deb Haaland, her Democratic opponent in Congressional District 1, did not grow up on the Pueblo of Laguna reservation, aka The Rez, that Deb cannot claim that she is Native. This is another striking example of how removed Janice and other non-Native people are from the complicated history of Native Americans, not just in the district she wants to represent, but across New Mexico and the nation. Janice, what you said on national television is racist and here’s why. Federally recognized tribes in this country have jumped through endless hoops and faced extreme prejudice just to achieve recognition from the federal government to access healthcare and education promised them under the myriad treaties foisted on them by the United States of America. Tribes have land held “in trust” with the federal government and must receive permission to use their own land.