On the heels of the signing of Georgia’s “heartbeat bill,” lawmakers in Louisiana are now poised to pass their own legislation to prohibit abortions on unborn babies with detectable heartbeats. Last Thursday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards was publicly asked about the bill. Governor Edwards responded:
“In eight years in the legislature, I was a pro-life legislator, 100 percent with the Louisiana Right to Life. When I ran for governor, I said I was pro-life and so that’s something that’s consistent.”
In recent weeks, pro-life Governors across the nation have been signing pro-life legislation at a record pace. Governor Edwards, however, is different from the other pro-life Governors because…Governor Edwards is a Democrat.
Within hours of his public statement, my newsfeeds were flooded with headlines—“Louisiana Governor breaks with Democrats on Abortion.” But the headlines only tell part of the story. Most of the stories do not mention that:
- The Sponsor of the bill is a Democrat.
- Six of the Louisiana Senate’s fourteen Democrats voted in favor of the bill.
- The bill is expected to pass the Louisiana House with Democratic support.
As I was reviewing these facts, I was reminded of what took place during the recent Legislative Session here in New Mexico—when 14 Democrats in our State Legislature opposed the radical abortion bill, HB 51. Surely, the victories happening in legislatures throughout the country are encouraging. At the same time, I believe they represent a response to an even greater force at work—and that is, the power of culture.
For years, the radical, pro-abortion lobby has portrayed the life issue as a battle between Republicans and Democrats; between young people and older people; and between women and men. A recent poll, however, revealed that a majority of Americans now support laws that would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected; that younger voters are more supportive of the laws than older voters; and that women do not differ significantly from men on the issue.
You see, this issue not a matter of Republican versus Democrat, young versus old, or even woman versus man. It is simply a matter of life versus death; and, thank the good Lord, life is winning in America!
It’s time that life wins in New Mexico too, and soon, we will have our opportunity.
President and Executive Director
P.S. I want to personally thank every one of you who took time to read, forward, and reply to last week’s email – “Governor Lujan Grisham Sends a Message to Hollywood.” I have never received so many responses and I am deeply grateful for all your words of support!
“Drag Queen Storytime,” which began in places like New York City and San Francisco, is now coming to Albuquerque.
Next Saturday, June 15th, Albuquerque’s Main Library is slated to host adult male entertainers, outfitted in makeup and outfits, using their “drag” names, reading to young children. And despite what the organizers of these events claim, there is nothing innocent or family-friendly about these events. Your help is needed to send a message to city and county officials today.
These story hours have a very specific agenda and the organizers have not been coy about the intent of the program. According to advertisements in other cities, “Drag Queen Story Hour captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive and unabashedly queer models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.”
Not only is “Drag Queen Storytime” being advertised on the Main Library’s official website and social media, but it is scheduled to take place during the Library’s “Family Fun”—an event for families and children ages 0-12.
Today, we are asking concerned citizens, parents, and taxpayers to speak up and encourage the Library to cancel this event. You can do so in three ways:
- Please click here to send a message to the Mayor, the Albuquerque City Council, and the Bernalillo County Commission.
- Please call the Library Director at (505) 768-5141 and leave the following message: “Drag queen programs are inappropriate for children and the library should not host or promote them.”
- Please share this message with your friends and family.
Thank you for speaking up!
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team
In case you missed it, our core issues at Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico® have been in the news locally and nationally.
Family – Albuquerque’s Main Library to Host Drag Queen Storytime”
This Saturday, Albuquerque’s Main Library is slated to host adult male entertainers, outfitted in makeup and outfits, using their “drag” names, reading to young children. Not only is “Drag Queen Storytime” being advertised on the Library’s official website and social media, but it is scheduled to take place during the Library’s “Family Fun” event for families and children ages 0-12. There is no arguing the fact that drag queens are adult entertainers and that these events are inappropriate for kids. At events in other cities, children in attendance have been encouraged to participate in youth drag queen competitions, and in Houston, one of the drag queens was later found to be a registered sex offender. If you live in the City of Albuquerque or Bernalillo County, please click here to send a message to our elected officials telling them that, “Drag queen programs are inappropriate for children and the library should not host or promote them.”
Life – American Medical Association (AMA) Retains Opposition to Assisted Suicide
This week, the American Medical Association (AMA), the largest association of physicians, overwhelmingly voted to retain its firm opposition to assisted suicide. According to the AMA Code of Medical Ethics, “Physician-assisted suicide if fundamentallyincompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.” This past Legislative Session, Family Policy Alliance and our allies were instrumental in defeated legislation to legalize assisted suicide in New Mexico.
Religious Freedom – Denver Baker Jack Phillips Sued for the Third Time
Jack Phillips, the Christian Baker from Denver, is now facing a third lawsuit for respectfully declining to provide a gender transition cake. Although there are dozens of other bakeries in Denver that would have provided the cake, Phillips continues to be targeted by radical activists hellbent on harassing and punishing him for operating his business in accordance with his faith.
At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, our vision is a state where religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished, and we are honored to be fighting for these issues at all levels—local and national. However, we could not do it without your prayers and support, so thank you from all of us!
Together, onward, upward, and in His service,
President and Executive Director
Every week, social media users use the hashtags #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT to share some of their favorite memories. This week, I took some time to reflect on some of the best memories I have had since launching Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico®. Fortunately for me and my memory, I did not have to think that far back for an all-time favorite!
#ThrowbackThursday this week takes us back just 3 months to March 14, 2019—the night when 8 Democrats joined 16 Republicans in the New Mexico Senate to defeat the radical abortion bill, HB 51. This was the night when the pro-life community of New Mexico went up against the abortion industry giant…and won!
Three months later, I am still reflecting on what we learned from that historic night.
We learned that the good Lord still answers our prayers.
We learned that people of faith can be a powerful force in New Mexico politics.
And we learned the importance of having pro-life men and women serving in our State Legislature.
Come January 2020, we need history to repeat itself. The Governor has already made public her intentions to bring back this legislation in order to maintain the status quo in New Mexico—which is abortion up-to-birth, for any reason.
My question is, are you ready to do this all over again?
We are! The 2020 Legislative Session may be seven months away, but our preparation begins now.
- Please continue to pray.
- Please prepare to speak up and act again.
- Please support our pro-life legislators and candidates.
Our vision is a New Mexico where life is cherished. Together, let’s make it happen.
Standing for Life,
President and Executive Director
P.S. If you want to help us train and support pro-life, Christian legislators and candidates, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our Family Policy Foundation® Statesmen Academy℠ today! Because of the unique and powerful nature of this program, generous supporters have stepped forward with a matching grant to DOUBLE your support. This doubled investment will yield results for YEARS to come, so please consider partnering with us today!
In case you missed it, our core issues at Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico have been in the news locally and nationally.
Family – New Mexico Ranks Last in the Nation for Child Well-being…Again
According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, New Mexico once again ranks last in the nation for childhood well-being. The report revealed that children living in single-parent families has increased to 45% – 11% higher than the national average – and the teen birth rate is now 28 per 1,000 – 9 births higher than the national average. The children living in high-poverty areas is up to 24%, which is double the national average. The full report is available here.
Life – Liberal Ninth Circuit Issues Surprising Pro-Life Ruling
Late last week, it was announced that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Trump Administration’s “Protect Life Rule” could go into effect immediately. The Rule, which blocks federal funding to clinics sharing space with abortion providers (e.g. Planned Parenthood), was previously halted by lower courts. However, the three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit allowed the Rule to go into effect while other lawsuits proceed.
Religious Freedom – U.S. Supreme Court Allows Bladensburg Cross to Stand
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to allow a 94 yearold World War I memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland to stand. The memorial, which features a 40-foot cross, was previously deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Seven of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices, however, disagreed with the lower courts ruling. Justice Alito, writing for the majority, penned that “destroying or defacing the Cross that has stood for nearly a century would not be neutral and would not further the ideals of respect and tolerance embodied in the First Amendment.”
As a reminder, this week is your last chance to have your gift to our Family Policy Foundation Statesmen Academy doubled thanks to a matching grant provided by some of our generous ministry partners. If you want to help us train and support Christian legislators and aspiring policymakers, please make your tax-deductible donation today!
Thank you for your support!
Presiden and Executive Director
“Is Roe v. Wade settled law?”
This is a question we hear often, most notably during confirmation hearings for federal judges and Supreme Court Justice nominees. For some in the judiciary, the question is met with a simple, “Yes.” For others, however, the response is a bit more complicated.
Consider, for example, Chief Justice John Roberts’ response when asked to clarify his previous statement describing Roe as the “settled law of the land.” The Chief Justice stated, “…it’s settled as a precedent of the court, entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis.”
Justice Samuel Alito, meanwhile, made similar remarks during his confirmation hearing, but went a step further by questioning the meaning of “settled law.” When directly asked if Roe was the settled law of the land, Justice Alito responded, “…if settled means that it can’t be re-examined, then that’s one thing. If settled means that it is a precedent that is entitled to respect as stare decisis…then it is a precedent that is protected, entitled to respect under the doctrine of stare decisis in that way.”
More recently, Roe was described by Justice Neil Gorsuch as “worthy of treatment as precedent, like any others,” and by Justice Brett Kavanaugh as “an important precedent of the Supreme Court that has been reaffirmed many times.”
What do these responses mean? They mean that Roe v. Wade is not settled law. This is why—
- Roe is not settled law because four of the nine Supreme Court Justices are likely open to reexamining the case. Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh all agree that Roe is settled law to the extent that it is a precedent and it should be treated as such. However, to Justice Alito’s point, this does not mean that Roe cannot be revisited.
- Roe is not settled law because at least one of the nine Supreme Court Justices, Clarence Thomas, believes that Roe was wrongly decided. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Justice Thomas joined the dissenting opinion which stated in part, “We believe that Roe was wrongly decided, and that it can and should be overruled consistently with our traditional approach to stare decisis in constitutional cases.”
- Roe is not settled law because its permanent legality was left in question by the Justice who penned the majority opinion. As the author of the majority opinion in Roe, Justice Harry Blackmun made it clear that the Court was not in a position to determine when life began. He wrote, “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins….[T]he judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” Justice Blackmun went on to state that if “personhood” were to be established, the unborn child’s “right to life would them be guaranteed” by the Fourteenth Amendment.
- Roe is not settled law because the Supreme Court can overturn its own precedents. Contrary to what many believe, no Supreme Court decision is beyond further review or an overturning because the Court can overturn its own precedents. The principal of stare decisis—or simply put, the legal doctrine of respecting precedent—does not always confine our modern-day Supreme Court to the decisions of the past. Former Chief Justice William Rehnquist once opined, “Staredecisis is not an inexorable command” (Payne v. Tennessee). Meanwhile, Justice Thomas recently wrote, “When faced with a demonstrably erroneous precedent…We should not follow it” (Gamble v. U.S.). This understanding of the role of precedent is critical for the Judiciary because the Court has at times delivered irrefutably erroneous decisions. Consider, for example, the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, in which the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation laws for public facilities. Surely the Court was right to overturn this dreadful decision.
The Judicial Oath, taken by all Justices of the Supreme Court, begins with this statement: ” I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will administer justice…” The administration of justice necessitates the correction of injustice. It took the Court almost 60 years to overturn Plessy. It has now been 46 years since Roe.
As the Supreme Court has appropriately done in years past, it should once again move to correct injustice by overturning Roe—one of its most fallacious and appalling decisions in history.
President and Executive Director
1, 271—This is the number of pro-life laws enacted in the states since the infamous ruling in Roe v. Wade in 1973. (according to the Guttmacher Institute, a national pro-abortion research and policy organization)
33—The number of states who have enacted pro-life laws since 1973.
27—The number of pro-life laws enacted this year alone.
Perhaps most encouraging is that fact that more than one-third of all pro-life laws enacted since 1973 have occurred within the last ten years. How do we explain this growing momentum? I suggest we look to the court—the court of public opinion that is.
In the words of Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a-changin.” There is no arguing the fact that public sentiment regarding abortion has changed and continues to shift in our favor. Advancements in ultrasound technology have exposed the barbaric nature of abortion procedures—including dismemberment and dilation/evacuation abortions—leading many self-proclaimed pro-choice Americans to rethink their position.
Consider these statistics:
66%—The number of “pro-choice” Americans who now oppose third trimester abortion.
(February 2019 Poll—YouGov & AUL)
55%—The number of voters who believe six-week abortion bans (fetal heartbeat) are “too lenient” or “just right.
(May 2019 Poll—Hill/HarrisX)
54%—The number of Americans who believe the U.S. Supreme Court should “overturn” or “modify” Roe v. Wade.
(May 2019 Poll—Harvard Caps/Harris)
Friends—we are winning in other states and in the court of public opinion, and with your continued support, we can bring this success to New Mexico. This past Legislative Session, we shocked the abortion industry and the nation when we defeated the radical abortion bill, HB 51. In doing so, we proved that the people still have the power to influence public policy and the direction of our state.
Do you want us to continue to fight for a state where life is cherished? Do you want to see New Mexico join the other 33 states who have enacted life-affirming laws? If so, would you consider making a donation today? Thanks to your support, we are close to meeting our fundraising goal for the current fiscal year, and your gift today will get us that much closer.
As always, thank you for your continued prayers and support!
President and Executive Director
Today, I am writing to you from Atlanta, Georgia—host city for the Family Policy Foundation® 2019 Statesmen Academy℠!
The Statesmen Academy has become our nation’s premier training ground for on-the-rise Christian legislators and aspiring policymakers. This year, we are proud to have over 30 men and women from 15 states, including New Mexico. Throughout the course of the Academy, these Christian leaders will receive rigorous training from world renowned thought leaders and experienced Christian legislative leaders, including former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn and Dr. Wayne Grudem. Our distinguished faculty will provide instruction on the legislative art of patience and persistence, unwavering principles, and passionate, respectful advocacy.
Participating in the Statesmen Academy is a great privilege for our state and I want to personally thank the many of you who contributed to make this possible. This week, I will be posting photos and updates on Facebook and Twitter, so if you have not yet “Liked” or “Followed” us, please do so today!
God bless you and thank you again for your continued prayers and thoughtful support.
President and Executive Director
On Saturday, our nation was rocked by not one, but two mass shootings that claimed the lives of at least 31 people. Within seconds, the finger pointing began as citizens and politicians rushed to social media to share their condolences coupled with thinly veiled political rhetoric.
As I scanned my feeds, I could not help but lament the impact of politics on our grieving. Sadly, political expediency has largely desensitized us to the loss of human life, evidenced by our obsession with the evil perpetrators versus the victims. Was the perp conservative or liberal? Was he white, black, or brown? Does he support Republicans or Democrats? These are the questions so many disingenuously ask in order to advance their political agenda. The result—exploitation and straw man accusations from many on the left, and soft-peddling and faulty comparisons from many on the right.
As Christians, however, we need not participate in the pandering and grandstanding. When tragedy strikes, it is our faith—not our politics—that should dictate our reaction and response. And our faith tells us that we should:
- Weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)
- Love our neighbors as ourselves. (Mark 12:31)
- Bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
- Serve those in need. (Hebrews 13:16)
- Seek and promote justice. (Isaiah 1:17)
- And share the good news of the Gospel. (Mark 16:15)
While others point the finger at one another, we have an opportunity to point others to Jesus Christ—and not simply through our thoughts and prayers, but through our actions and reactions.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these…you did it to me.’” -Matthew 25:40
In His Service,
President and Executive Director
By Vince Torres, Executive Director
Will New Mexico become the 12th state to legalize recreational marijuana? This is one of the more pressing questions heading into 2020.
Recently, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced her intent to place recreational marijuana on the 2020 Legislative Session agenda. She also launched a “Working Group on Cannabis Legalization” to make recommendations and draft the legislation. The passage of such legislation, however, remains uncertain. Our State Legislature has consistently rejected recreational marijuana year over year—including this year—with Democrats and Republicans citing the risks, dangers, and consequences of recreational marijuana in other states.
In the coming weeks and months, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico will continue to make its case that recreational marijuana is wrong for New Mexico and we believe it is important that we understand the debate at hand.
First of all, we are not debating medicinal marijuana—we are debating recreational marijuana. Medicinal marijuana is already legal in New Mexico, with 70,000+ people enrolled in our state’s medical cannabis program.
Second, we are not debating marijuana criminalization—we are debating marijuana commercialization. This year, Governor Lujan Grisham signed into law legislation decriminalizing possession of personal use amounts of marijuana—an action previously enacted through municipal ordinance by the cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
Given these facts, we need to ask ourselves just one question: Would New Mexico benefit from recreational, commercial marijuana?
Based on what we have seen in other states, including our neighboring state, Colorado, the answer is “no.”
- Did you know that Colorado now leads the nation in first-time marijuana use among youth, and that marijuana-related ER visits by Colorado teens are on the rise?
- Did you know that between 2012 and 2014, the percentage of Hispanic teens arrested in Colorado increased by 29%?
- Did you know that marijuana-impaired driving fatalities in Colorado have more than doubled?
- Did you know that marijuana more than doubles the risk of developing opioid use disorder or initiating nonmedical prescription opioid use?
In New Mexico, we are already facing significant challenges related to crime, drug use, and poverty. We do not need new policies in place that will exacerbate these challenges, exploit our youth, and disproportionately impact low-income and minority communities.
For these reasons and others, we urge you to “Say NO to Big Marijuana” in New Mexico.