I’m sure you’ve heard the heartbreaking story of 18-year-old Alexis Avila throwing her hours-old infant, baby Saul, into a dumpster. She birthed her baby boy at home, wrapped him in a dirty towel and then put him in a trash bag containing garbage. She tied the bag closed with a hair tie, drove to a dumpster nearby, tossed him in and left.
The baby was in the dumpster for nearly six hours in near-freezing temperatures before he was found. When asked by the police why she had done this, she replied, “I was in a panic and I didn’t know what to do. I was scared.” Avila is under investigation and is being charged with attempted first-degree murder and child abuse.
While we may disagree with those on the Left on how early a life should be protected, we can all agree that an infant has the right to live and must be protected. In 2001 state legislators showed their agreement by passing the New Mexico Safe Haven Act, protecting infants who might otherwise be abandoned and offering an opportunity for a biological parent to surrender the infant without fear of criminal prosecution.
While the Safe Haven Law that exists in New Mexico offers protection, more is needed to ensure the proper awareness of how the law works and the funding to provide proper surrender safety devices. A surrender safety device is installed in an exterior wall of a designated Safe Haven site. It has an exterior door that automatically locks upon placement of a newborn inside the device, and a transparent interior door which allows a medical staff member to secure the surrendered newborn from inside the designated building. It is electronically monitored, and an alarm is activated when the exterior door is opened.
But there is good news!
House Bill 157 (and its companion bill, Senate Bill 168) has been introduced to provide for these exact needs.
These bills serve to clarify requirements of a Safe Haven site as well as the process that must be followed when an infant is surrendered. It also clarifies the condition the infant must be in at the time of surrender if the biological parent is to be free of criminal prosecution. In addition to these clarifications of existing law, these bills provide:
- funding to educate the public regarding the New Mexico Safe Haven Law and the use of surrender safety devices
- funding for the installation and operation of surrender safety devices around the state
To cherish life means we protect it at every stage. The protection of these infants, who might otherwise be abandoned, is another step forward in the fight for life – and we need you!
And please be sure to share this with others so they can make their voice heard as well!
P.S. During this legislative session we are tracking many bills that will need your voice! Stay tuned for updates and potential action alerts on the following items:
SB158 – Anatomical Gifts Discrimination
We believe that life is a precious gift from God and that it should be protected from fertilization to natural end of life. SB158, honors life by prohibiting discriminations against those with physical or mental disabilities who are in need of transplant services, ensuring equal access to the care that is needed.
HB-91 – Prohibit Critical Race Theory Teaching
Critical Race Theory, in a nutshell, teaches students to treat people differently based on the color of their skin and it has no place in the classroom. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was designed to ensure people would not be treated differently based on their race. CRT mocks the societal protections of the Civil Rights Act. It serves more as an indoctrination of “woke” culture and liberal agendas which are politically driven and do not belong in New Mexico’s K-12 education curriculum. HB91 serves to prohibit the teaching of CRT in New Mexico classrooms.
HJR11 – Expanding Options for Educational Choice
As the American Federation for Children so eloquently stated, “All students should have access to a quality education that allows them to develop their unique talents and acquire the knowledge, skills and values necessary to be successful and find fulfillment in their lives. Children and their families should have the freedom to pursue educational options that are best suited to their individual learning styles.”
HJR11 will allow school funding to be used by whose children attend home school or private nonsectarian schools. HJR11 is a promising step forward in a family’s right to school choice.