“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” –Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
It has been a busy season for the Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team, and much has happened since last week. Therefore, we present to you this week – the good, the bad, and the ugly – a legislative recap!
The Good. On Tuesday, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico teamed up with New Mexico Prays to host “Pastors’ Day at the State Capitol.” More than 100 pastors and faith leaders, from various denominations and communities across New Mexico, participated in the event, which included a luncheon and prayer service in the Capitol Rotunda. Special guest speakers included Lt. Governor John Sanchez, several State Representatives, and Albuquerque Police Officer Ryan Holets who was recently recognized by President Trump during the State of the Union Address. Our Executive Director, Vince Torres, also addressed the pastors and spoke on the need for greater engagement from the church in government and public policy.
The Bad. In spite of our best efforts, two of our pro-life bills did not make it onto the Legislative Session agenda. House Bill 75 sought to protect infants who survive an abortion by requiring immediate medical care. Meanwhile, House Bill 76 would have prohibited late-term abortions on infants of 20 or more weeks, gestational age, with some exceptions. We want to thank the bills’ sponsors – Representatives Rod Montoya (R-San Juan), Yvette Herrell (R-Otero), and David Gallegos (R-Lea) – for their efforts to pass these very important pieces of legislation. We will be back next year!
The Ugly. By God’s grace, one of our pro-life bills did make it onto the agenda; however, on Saturday, it was voted down in its first committee hearing. House Bill 56, sponsored by Representatives Rick Little (R-Dona Ana & Otero) and David Gallegos (R-Lea), would have required that notification be given to a parent when their minor child obtains an abortion. As it stands, a minor girl can receive an abortion in New Mexico without her parents ever knowing about it, which is completely unconscionable, given the fact that she cannot receive an aspirin at school without parental notification and consent! The bill sponsors and expert witnesses provided compelling arguments in favor of the bill, including the need to protect minor girls who have been victims of rape, incest, or sexual abuse, and taken to an abortion facility by their abuser. Sex traffickers are known to frequently take young girls to abortion clinics to get rid of the evidence and adults have been caught taking minors across state lines to avoid parental notification or consent requirements. Sadly, these facts and many others fell on deaf ears, as a majority of the committee voted to table the measure. However, this is certainly not the end, and, again, we will be back next year!
We want to thank the many of you who responded to our action alerts and contacted the Governor and these legislators! With your help, we managed to get one of our legislative priorities (House Bill 56) on the agenda, which is especially difficult during a 30-day, short session. Not only that, we also managed to get House Bill 56 a hearing in spite of the committee chairman’s efforts to stall the bill. This produced a vote – one that these Representatives will now have to justify to their constituents and defend come election time later this year!
While the Legislative Session may be winding down, our efforts have really just begun! In the coming weeks, we will resume our efforts to motivate pastors and mobilize churches and citizens to take action and capitalize on the opportunities before us.
At the same time, we will turn some of our attention to the upcoming election, because the reality is this – if we cannot pass the legislation we need, we must change the makeup of the legislature.
In this effort and others, we hope and pray you will continue to join us on our mission as we pursue our vision for the “Land of Enchantment” – a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!
God bless and have a great week!
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team