RADICAL PRO-ABORTION BILL PASSES HOUSE
Last Wednesday evening, following a spirited and sometimes contentious debate, the New Mexico House Representatives passed the radical pro-abortion bill—House Bill 51—by a vote of 40-29. The vote garnered bipartisan opposition, as 6 Democrats joined all Republicans present in voting against the bill. Among the concerns raised during the debate was the fact that the bill would allow elective abortions up-to-birth to continue in New Mexico, even in the case of a healthy mother and child. Also addressed was the fact that the bill would strip the only explicit abortion-related conscience protection for physicians, paving the way for medical professionals to be forced to participate in abortion procedures against their conscience. At several points, the bill’s sponsor, Representative Joanne Ferrary (D-Dona Ana), attempted to assure the other members that the conscience protection was “antiquated” and unnecessary. However, in the days following the vote, it was pointed out that Representative Ferrary’s expert witnesses, who represent the ACLU and Young Women United, are actively part of a coalition working to end “religious refusals” in New Mexico. HB 51 is now headed to the Senate where it faces an uncertain outcome.
SENATE ADVANCES BILL ALLOWING GENDER CHANGE & “X” ON BIRTH CERTIFICATES
Last week, the New Mexico Senate passed Senate Bill 20 which would allow New Mexicans to change the gender on their birth certificate or select a new gender marker – “X” – based on their gender identity. Although concerns were raised about the impact of this legislation on law enforcement and public facilities accommodations, the bill received bipartisan support, with Republican Senators Sander Rue and William Payne voting in favor of the legislation. SB 20 is now awaiting a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.
RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA LEGISLATION INTRODUCED, PASSES FIRST COMMITTEE
House Bill 356 was introduced and cleared its first committee assignment over the weekend. The bill, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana, passed the House Health and Human Services Committee on a 5-2 party-line vote, with Democrats supporting the measure. HB 356 now heads to the House Judiciary Committee.
ASSISTED SUICIDE HEADS TO FULL HOUSE FOR VOTE
After emotional testimony from the public on both sides, House Bill 90, the legalization of assisted suicide, passed the House Judiciary Committee on a 9-3 party-line vote, with Democrats supporting the measure. The bill now heads to the full House for consideration. Among the concerns raised regarding HB 90 are the facts that it would allow non-physicians to determine mental capacity and prescribe life-ending medication and would force doctors and medical professionals to violate their conscience and refer patients for assisted suicide. Meanwhile, the legislation lacks many safeguards found in other states that protect patients from dangerous abuse and coercion from predatory family members and profit-driven insurance companies.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I have faith that the people of New Mexico are waking up to the ‘status quo’ in New Mexico—and that is abortion up to the moment of birth.” -State Representative Cathrynn Brown (R-Eddy)
LEGISLATOR OF THE WEEK
State Representative Cathrynn Brown (R-Eddy)
State Representative Cathrynn Brown was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives in 2011 to represent District 55 (Eddy County). Since being elected, Representative Brown has been on sabbatical from her law practice. Her credentials and experience include an undergraduate degree in political science from Reed College; a juris doctorate from the University of Idaho; and several years of employment at a national research and development laboratory. Representative Brown has been involved in community service for more than 30 years and has held leadership positions in various organizations. She continues to devote time to serving on the boards of directors for the Carlsbad Literacy Program, Right to Life of Carlsbad, and New Mexico Legal Aid, Inc. Representative Brown and her husband, Mike, have been married for almost 33 years and, together, they have five children. Susceptible
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
RE: Religious Freedom