Caution: NM Republicans Only Pretending To Soften Their Stance On Abortion Access

Caution: NM Republicans Only Pretending To Soften Their Stance On Abortion Access

New Mexicans overwhelmingly support reproductive freedom, yet NM Republicans haven’t gotten the message.

Their response? Revising history to pretend they’re not obsessed with interfering in personal reproductive healthcare decisions, even in scenarios where an overwhelming majority of voters want hospitals to be able to provide medically necessary abortions.

The latest case in point, Yvette Herrell. Extreme anti-abortion comments from the former rep and once again candidate for NM’s 2nd Congressional District recently resurfaced via a candidate forum from 2020 in which she prominently declared her position on abortion:

“I wish we could have eliminated all abortion in the state, I wish we could have gotten even that to go through. But we couldn’t.”

– Yvette Herrell, during a virtual candidate forum hosted by the Valencia County GOP

In April, Herrell attempted to have it both ways on a podcast, pretending that she is against a national abortion ban while also repeating  “I’ve never changed my stance on abortion” four separate times, raising the question, which things coming out of Yo-Yo Yvette’s mouth can voters believe?

NM GOP’s Record on Reproductive Freedom

Fortunately, Herrell is right about one thing: no matter what she says now, her track record speaks for itself.

She has consistently advocated for extreme anti-abortion restrictions on social media and also cosponsored 2021’s Life at Conception Act, which sought to redefine “human being” to include “all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.” It made no exceptions for in vitro fertilization (IVF). If you want to see how much actual damage she did while in office, check out our Tik Tok video.

Herrell isn’t the only one currently backpedaling. Ken Brennan, current Edgewood Mayor now running for House District 50, and Elizabeth Winterrowd, running for Southern NM’s House District 53, are two more hard-line NM Republicans trying to bury their anti-abortion stances by removing any mention of it from their campaign websites.

NM Senate District 19 candidate Ant Thornton and Herrell also sat together at the recent annual fundraising event for Carenet, parent organization to a series of anti-abortion centers that call themselves “crisis pregnancy centers” which masquerade as real clinics in order to dissuade people from getting abortion care. This confirms they continue to be in the business of eliminating reproductive freedom for New Mexicans.

Local and National MAGA in Lockstep 

As Jessica Valenti noted in a story, New Mexico’s GOP is closely mirroring the extremism of MAGA Republicans across the US:

“In a moment when Americans overwhelmingly want abortion to be legal, Republicans are desperate to sound as reasonable, moderate, and even as ‘pro-choice’, as possible. Their extremist talking points haven’t worked; that’s why they’ve shifted from talking about ‘bans’ and abortion being ‘murder,’ to using words like ‘consensus’ and ‘compassion.’ …they will say anything to ban abortion and to keep it banned.” 

And the broader Republican attack on reproductive freedom isn’t likely to stop anytime soon…

This week, Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have protected contraception access, right in line with Trump confirming his campaign was working on a policy to ban contraception/birth control, and then later pretended he hadn’t said it, even though it’s specifically mentioned in MAGA Project 2025, the Trump advisors’ plan for U.S. fascism. (We wish that was an overstatement, but yes, MAGA Project 2025 is full of detailed horrors that violate the core values of American democracy and individual freedoms.)

When extreme NM Republicans like Harrell, Thornton, and many other anti-abortion candidates and legislators use words like “options” and “compassion,” we should pay attention to their track record and detailed plans in Project 2025, because actions speak louder than words.

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