It was a surreal session at the Roundhouse.
The 2021 New Mexico legislative session was largely virtual, so a large part of what anyone saw of the session was not at the Roundhouse at all, but rather images of legislators sitting in their home offices and participating via Zoom sessions.
But the virtual session also had a bitter reality. A new, more progressive group of legislators held sway – made possible by progressives’ defeat of moderate Democrats in last year’s primary election. The fact that elections have consequences was very evident this year.
The results then were not all that surprising, but they were jolting nonetheless. Here’s a look at key outcomes.
Limitless Abortion. After years of pushing for it, the progressives finally got what they wanted – a law repealing restrictions on abortion in New Mexico. While some of those restrictions weren’t in effect because of court rulings, others were. Here are a few immediate, practical changes of the new law: ·
State law no longer includes conscience protections for medical professionals who are unwilling to do abortions.
- The mother is no longer required to give consent to an abortion – a coup for abusers and sex traffickers.
- Mothers no longer have legal protections if they are injured in an abortion procedure.
- The bill continues to legalize third-trimester abortions, even after a young woman and her baby were killed last year during a third-trimester abortion.
There is no justification for these outcomes; it is as bad as it sounds. See how your state senator and representative voted.
Assisted Suicide. Near the end of the session, progressives succeeded in checking off another longtime goal, legalizing assisted suicide. When Gov. Lujan Grisham signed the bill, she made New Mexico just the ninth state to take that life-devaluing step.
Suicide is already a major problem in New Mexico. According to the Centers for Disease Control, our state has the fourth-highest suicide rate in the nation, with suicide ranking as the ninth-leading cause of death. Suicide contagion is real, and the state’s legitimization of some suicides will likely only add to the problem.
There has also been strong concern in recent years over elder abuse in our state. Assisted suicide laws compound that problem. In 2019 in Oregon, 54 percent of people who requested assisted suicide did so because they feared being a burden on their family. This new law enables financial predators in the family who would seek to reduce the burden of care and get access to wealth.
On the positive side, your strong responses to our action alerts created pressure on legislators, and the bill was amended with some limited improvements. However, even these safeguards are unenforceable and able to be avoided. See how your state senator and representative voted.
Recreational Marijuana. When the legislature couldn’t finish up the marijuana bill before the regular session ended, Gov. Lujan Grisham wasted no time in calling a special session, where the era of Big Marijuana in New Mexico was quickly ushered in.
Now our state will have to grapple with many of the same challenges as our neighbor to the north. Since Colorado legalized recreational weed, it has seen a dramatic increase in violent crime, traffic fatalities, and marijuana hospitalizations. And usage by minors – sometimes fatal, from eating poorly regulated marijuana “candies” – has soared. See how your state senator and representative voted.
A Ray of Hope? Yes, this legislative session produced a sharp, leftward lurch for New Mexico. But now the Left has to own it – their voting records and the unpopular consequences of their policies. As we’ve seen, elections have consequences. And sometimes, so do legislative sessions.
Thanks for your faithful support and action. Let’s keep at it!
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team