“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” -Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)

Dear Friends:

Over the past two weeks, I have spoken with several pastors and people of faith about the dramatically shifting political climate in our state. There is certainly no question that New Mexico is changing. The question is, is it changing for the better? And my guess is that most of you would agree that it is not.

Following recent attacks on our organization by the far-left, I had several Democrats reach out to me and express frustration with the direction of their party and our state. Some cited the abandoning of traditional and cultural values, including the centrality of the family. Others mentioned a lack of tolerance in the party for those who do not toe the line of the far-left. And many spoke of the troubling influence of radical progressive politics, largely perpetuated by Democratic leaders who are trying to turn New Mexico into the next California.

This begs the question—Is 2019 the year we become New Mexifornia?

To be frank, I believe the outcome of the November election will determine the answer to that question. And the outcome of the November election will be based on whether or not people of faith like us get out of the pews and to the polls.

New Mexico is at a crossroads, and make no mistake, our core issues of life, family, and religious freedom hang in the balance.

Will New Mexico go the route of California—a state that consistently opposes the sanctity of human life; a state that constantly enacts laws to erode the family; and a state that is unrelenting in its attack against people of faith?

Or will we choose another path?

 Friends—this November, I hope you will join us in pursuing another path and direction for our state…

To this end, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico is committed to working hard and ensuring that Christians have a voice in politics and policy. However, in order for us to continue our work, we need your financial support and, thankfully, one of our ministry partners has stepped up in a big way to make your year-end donation go twice as far.

From now through the end of the year, your financial gifts will be DOUBLED, thanks to a $25,000 matching grant provided by a local New Mexico family. So, if you support our efforts and believe in our vision, please CLICK HERE and make a donation today!

Thank you!

Vince Torres
President and Executive Director

Dear Friends:

As you know, we are currently in the process of vetting candidates ahead of the upcoming November election. Last week, several of those candidates returned their candidate surveys to us and over the next few days, we will be reviewing those surveys, conducting follow-up interviews, and continuing our background research. Once that process is complete, we will release our official endorsement list, and as an email subscriber, you will be the first to receive that information.

In the meantime, I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to some important members of our team. As you know, we are blessed to serve alongside our national umbrella organization, Family Policy Alliance®, and one of our Shared Values is “Steward Leadership”—the process by which we intentionally serve one another by anticipating needs, leveraging resources, and working together toward our shared vision.

One way we exercise “Steward Leadership” is through staff support provided to us by the Family Policy Alliance team, headquartered in Colorado Springs. What does this mean? It means that although I am currently a one-man operation locally, I have full access to a talented team of men and women who provide HR, legal, communications, policy, mobilization, and other critical services to support our local efforts.

Meet Autumn

Autumn is our Vice President of Strategy and is charged with implementing and overseeing strategy for comprehensive communications, policy, mobilization, and elections efforts to advance our vision. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a juris doctorate from Regent University School of Law.

 Meet Stephanie

Stephanie is our Public Policy Manager. She provides legal analysis and legislative strategy, and also serves as our registered lobbyist in New Mexico. Stephanie is a licensed attorney and received her juris doctorate from CUNY School of Law.

 Meet John

John is our Mobilization Manager and oversees mobilization efforts in the legislative and election arenas. He also identifies and recruits candidates for the Statesmen Academy and provides resources and networking for Statesmen Academy alumni. John received his bachelor’s degree in History from San Diego Christian College.

Autumn, Stephanie, and John are just three members of our incredibly gifted team and in the coming months, I will introduce you to others.

At the same time, we do have plans to grow our team locally by hiring two additional people in the future. In order for that to happen, we need ministry partners like you to support us financially, and one of the best ways you can do that is by setting up a recurring monthly donation today. Together, let’s make a difference!

Thank you in advance for your support and please continue to keep us in your prayers.

God bless you,

Vince Torres
President and Executive Director

Dear Friends:

At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we frequently talk about the need for greater engagement from people of faith when it comes to public policy issues and elections. Thankfully, in recent years, we have seen greater participation, particularly during the annual Legislative Session in Santa Fe. From rallies to committee hearings, more and more Christians are beginning to take an active role in our government and speak out on the issues that matter.

One of these Christians is Gregg Schmedes, a local doctor from Tijeras.

I first met Gregg two years ago while I was still working for the state. During this time, I learned that in addition to sharing a common faith, Gregg and I also shared a strong commitment to defending life. As a doctor, Gregg felt the medical community needed to be more vocal in the abortion debate. Consequently, he began to spend his personal time attending committee hearings and floor sessions, and providing expert testimony on life-affirming legislation.

Gregg’s dedication to serving and being a voice for the voiceless did not begin in New Mexico though. During college, he organized and led missions’ trips to Mexico, and from 2014-2016, he served in Cameroon as a teacher and surgeon for Samaritan Purse’s World Medical Mission.

Today, Gregg is as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of New Mexico and the State Director of the American Academy of Medical Ethics. Even more important, he is a committed Christian, devoted husband (Kelly), and proud father to five beautiful children.

Several weeks ago, I talked about the growing frustration with the direction of our state. At the same time, I mentioned the strong contingent of faithful, godly leaders we have that give me renewed hope and optimism for the future of New Mexico. And while Gregg does not currently serve in elected office, he is certainly one of those leaders and a man who unashamedly espouses the values of Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, including servant leadership, winsome engagement, and inspired hope.

Gregg is a wonderful example of how God can use one person to make a difference. But thankfully, Gregg is not the only one. There are many others, including people like you who continue to pray for and support our ministry.

So, on behalf of this ministry and all our staff, thank you! Together, with God’s blessing, we are making a difference!

In His Service,

Vince Torres
President & Executive Director

“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)

Dear Friends:

This past weekend, I had the privilege of speaking on a discussion panel at the 2018 Students for Life Leadership Workshop. The event was held at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and was well attended by students, pro-life activists, and leaders from local pro-life organizations. Joining me on the panel was Elisa Martinez, Executive Director of New Mexico Alliance for Life, and, together, we answered several questions about pro-life legislation and the political climate in our state.

During our discussion, one particular question stood out to me, and it went like this:

“Some think presenting pro-life bills is a waste of time and that saving lives will not happen at the legislature. What do you say to that?”

The question stood out, in part, because I have heard this sentiment expressed many times over the years, and my initial thought has always been, “I’m sure glad you don’t feel that way about other issues!” It is no secret that New Mexico trails the rest of the nation in many critical areas, including education, economic growth, and child well-being, to name a few. However, the fact that we are lagging behind in those areas has never kept us from trying to improve and make progress, so why would we give up on life?

Like the areas referenced above, New Mexico is also far behind other states when it comes to enacting reasonable legislation to protect life. This past week alone, state legislatures across the country passed several pro-life bills, including:

These are just a few examples of what is becoming a national trend, and it’s time for New Mexico to catch up! At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we believe that saving lives will happen at the legislature and it is up to us – you and I – to make it happen! The abortion industry’s lobby in New Mexico is strong and well-financed by out-of-touch, out-of-state interests. To counter their efforts, we need a strong, well-funded, local movement of pro-life New Mexicans who will not give up until we achieve our vision – a New Mexico where life is cherished!

Something to think about: Last week, Planned Parenthood announced their plan to spend $20 million this year to defeat pro-life candidates for Governor and the U.S. Senate. With those resources at their disposal, we must continue to ask why they continue to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies every year.

Something to pray for: Please pray for our pro-life candidates this election cycle. In addition to electing a new Governor this November, all 70 seats in the State House of Representatives will be on the ballot, along with our federal races for U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator. In the coming months, we will keep you informed on where some of the key candidates stand on the issue of life. If we want change, we must elect change!

Something to do: If you do not know the names of your State Representative and/or State Senator, please click here to find out! As we begin to share information regarding the upcoming election, it is important to know who your elected officials are, and if they are representing your values.

As always, thank you for your prayers and support. We could not do this without you!

Blessings,

Vince Torres
President and Executive Director

 

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” –Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)

Dear Friends:

10 weeks – brain
18 weeks – skin from upper arm, retina
16 weeks – twins (1 w/clubbed feet), brain A, brain B, eye, eye
23 weeks – skin, brain, lung, retina
24 weeks – brain, eyes, heart
32 weeks – intact head

These are notes taken from a procurement journal, recording harvested body parts from aborted babies at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNM HSC). The log, which includes entrees from January 2010 through December 2015, provides a detailed and grisly account of the activities taking place at our state’s flagship university; and, up until recently, few New Mexicans knew anything about it. That was until 2015, when some of our State Legislators began asking questions about the controversial fetal tissue research program at UNM HSC and the University’s relationship with late-term abortionist Curtis Boyd.

Since that time, we have learned a lot about the questionable practices at UNM HSC. Among other things…

In 2015, our state-based ally, New Mexico Alliance for Life (NMAFL), launched its own investigation into UNM HSC. From this ongoing investigation, we learned that the UNM School of Medicine sent program fellows and residents to train at Curtis Boyd’s late-term abortion clinic, Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO), in Albuquerque. We also learned that Boyd was given volunteer faculty status by UNM, for which he received professional liability insurance coverage, provided to University employees. Meanwhile, in October, the U.S. House formed the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives to investigate abortion and fetal tissue procurement in response to the viral, undercover videos involving Planned Parenthood.

In 2016, the federal House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives released the aforementioned procurement journal, which detailed the collection of fetal body parts from SWO, and, in some cases, what the body parts were used for. Most troubling was one particular entry that requested baby brains from SWO to dissect with summer camp, high school students. The Investigative Panel, with assistance and consultation from NMAFL, also released its full report and submitted criminal referrals to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas for investigation and prosecution.

In 2017, we learned that women obtaining abortions at SWO were misinformed on the use of their aborted babies for scientific research. In October, a New Mexico District Court Judge ruled that UNM did not have the proper consent or authorization to receive or experiment with aborted fetal parts obtained from SWO. As a result, a 2016 lawsuit filed against SWO will now go to trial. Further, in December, the U.S. Departments of Justice announced that it had sent the criminal referrals made by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives to the FBI for review and appropriate action.

And this year, the Albuquerque Journal reported on the suspension of UNM’s lead fetal tissue researcher, Dr. Robin Ohls. According to the report, Dr. Ohls transferred fetal tissue collected from SWO to a private company in Michigan, then requested that the Michigan company reimburse the University for costs associated with preparing the fetal tissue for transport – a clear violation of the University’s policy to not sell human tissue. Incidentally, on the same day the Albuquerque Journal broke the news on Dr. Ohls’ suspension, Attorney General Balderas submitted a response letter to the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, more than one year after receiving the criminal referrals. In spite of the Investigative Panel’s report, evidence, and recommendations, Balderas ultimately refused to prosecute and allowed the criminal complaints to expire.

Fortunately, the federal probe is ongoing, and, in the meantime, we will continue to work with our state and national allies to promote a culture of life and expose the barbaric practices of New Mexico’s abortion industry. It is safe to say that this information may have never come to light without the diligent work of a few State Legislators and NMAFL. So to them, we say “thank you” and “we are here to help.”

At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, our vision is a state where life is cherished – not destroyed – and we need your help to make this vision a reality! In the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing opportunities for you to engage and stand for life. When that happens, please get involved and encourage your family and friends to do the same. Together, we can make a difference! Together, we can turn New Mexico around!

God bless you and thank you for your support,

Vince Torres
President and Executive Director

“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)

Dear Friends:

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

 

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” –Psalm 31:8 (NLT)

Dear Friends:

In case you missed it, the life issue has been in the news lately, from our state capital in Santa Fe, all the way to our nation’s capital in Washington D.C. This is great news and it signals a rapidly growing momentum in our efforts to protect the preborn children of our state and nation.

At the federal level, the U.S. House passed the “Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” which requires medical care to be given to infants who survive an abortion. Our New Mexico delegation voted as follows – Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham – No; Congressman Steve Pearce – Yes; Congressman Ben Ray Lujan – No. The bill must now be voted on in the U.S. Senate.

Additionally, this week, the U.S. Senate held a vote on the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” which would ban abortions after 20-weeks, with exceptions for incest, rape, and when the mother’s life is at risk. Research confirms that preborn children can experience pain by the time they reach 20 weeks old. And yet, America remains one of just seven countries that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks. Unfortunately, the bill failed to receive the 60 votes needed to move forward, and our New Mexico Senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, both voted “NO.”

 Locally, we are continuing to work closely with our allied organizations and legislators to advance pro-life legislation at the state level. As reported last week, Governor Martinez added House Bill 56 – the Parental Notification of Abortion Act – to the Legislative Session agenda. Did you know that minors cannot receive an aspirin at school without parental notification and consent, but they can obtain an abortion in our state without a parent being notified?

There are many reasons to support House Bill 56, but here are a few to consider and share with your friends:

Now, WE NEED YOUR HELP to move House Bill 56 forward! Before the bill can be voted on, it must go through the committee process and we need you to CONTACT the following members TODAY and URGE them to support the bill in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee:

Representative Eliseo Alcon (D-Cibola & McKinley)
(505) 986-4425
eliseo.alcon@nmlegis.gov

Representative Patricia Roybal-Caballero (D-Bernalillo)
(505) 986-4248
pat.roybalcaballero@nmlegis.gov

Representative Deborah Armstrong (D-Bernalillo)
(505) 986-4840
deborah.armstrong@nmlegis.gov

When you call and email them, ask them to “support and vote in favor of HB 56.”

Finally, please forward or share this message with friends. It is critical that these Representatives hear from as many New Mexicans as possible!

Thank you in advance for standing for life and helping us “Unleash Biblical Citizenship” in New Mexico!

The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team

 

Great news! We spoke and Representative Alcon listened!

HB 56 has been scheduled for a committee hearing this Saturday, and your quick help is now needed to urge the following committee members to vote for the bill and move it forward!

Please contact all three Representatives today and urge them to vote for HB 56.

Reasons to support HB 56:

We’ve made it simple to communicate this request to Representatives Alcon, Roybal-Caballero, and Armstrong. Simply visit our Action Center and you can send this message in 30 seconds!

Also, please forward or share this message with friends. It’s important that these Representatives hear from as many people as possible.

Finally, after you’ve sent the message through our Action Center, please also call the Representatives’ offices at the numbers provided above and leave the same message.

Thank you for making your voice heard!

The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” –Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)

Dear Friends:

This week marks the 45-year anniversary of legalized abortion in American following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. The truth is, since that infamous day, more than 60 million children have lost their lives – 60 million baby boys and girls who were denied their unalienable right to life. Lord, forgive us.

In the years that immediately followed the Court’s decision, many assumed the abortion issue had been permanently decided and that the remaining opposition would quickly fade. In their minds, the pro-life movement would soon be relegated to an insignificant minority grasping to an archaic position. And for some time, they were right. Many Americans moved on, many Christians kept quiet, and sadly, some church denominations went as far as to actually endorse the Court’s ruling.

The debate should have ended there; but, by God’s grace, it did not! Soon, state legislatures began to do what seemed impossible. In a demonstration of states’ rights, they began the process of chipping away at the “right to abortion” ruling, ultimately proving that the courts do not get the final say.

This is great news, because our nation and our people look very different and think very different than they did in 1973. Advances in science and technology have exposed us to new facts regarding conception and viability. Meanwhile, sonograms have empowered women and men with the opportunity to see their preborn child, squashing any suggestion that the child is a clump of tissue or cells. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that our youngest generation is now the most pro-life generation yet!

In recent years, these developments have led to a growing pressure to protect the sanctity of human life at the federal level and in states across the nation. Just last week, the U.S. House passed the “Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” which requires that medical care be given to infants who survive an abortion, versus abandoning them to die excruciating deaths and be thrown out as medical waste. The vote took place on the same day hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Washington D.C. for the annual March for Life.

We also have much to be thankful for right here in New Mexico! Last week, our Legislative Session kicked off and thanks to the efforts of Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, our allied organizations, and allied legislators, the sanctity of human life is gaining momentum at the Capitol in Santa Fe! Just this week, Governor Martinez added House Bill 56 to the Session agenda – legislation that would require notification of a parent or guardian when an abortion is to be performed on a minor.

(For more highlights and details, please see our Week 1 Legislative Recap below!)

What does all of this mean? It means that all hope was NOT lost with that shameful Court ruling 45 years ago! It means that we not only have the responsibility, but a real opportunity to put an end to this stain on our nation’s character.

At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, our vision is a state where life is cherished, and with your prayers and support, we are that much closer to making this vision a reality! Thank you for joining us on this mission to protect the preborn and promote a culture of life in the Land of Enchantment. We could not do it without you!

Standing for Life,

The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team

 Week 1 Legislative Recap

 On Tuesday, January 16th, at noon, the 2018 Legislative Session was called to order.

STATE OF THE STATE
Governor Susana Martinez delivered her eighth and final State of the State Address before a Joint Session of the Senate and House of Representatives. Among other things, the Governor unveiled her legislative priorities for the 30-day Session – namely, passing a responsible budget, promoting continued economic growth, and improving public safety. During her remarks, the Governor also highlighted the $330 million budget surplus and renewed her call for education reform in the state. Some of the Governor’s specific budget recommendations mentioned in her address included:

PRO-LIFE LEGISLATION INTRODUCED
The following pro-life bills were introduced Tuesday in the House of Representatives and referred to the House Rules and Order of Business Committee.

SANCTITY OF LIFE AWARENESS AND UNITY DAY
On Wednesday, January 17th, afternoon, Catholics and Protestants joined together in a demonstration of solidarity to promote the sanctity of life. Following a noon mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis, several hundred people walked to the State Capitol for a rally featuring the Archbishop, other leaders from the Catholic Church, representatives from pro-life groups, and members of the Legislature. Representative Rod Montoya (R-San Juan) rallied the crowd and discussed the three pro-life bills introduced in the House of Representatives – House Bills 56, 75, and 76. Other legislators in attendance at the rally included Representatives David Gallegos (R-Lea), Larry Larrañaga (R-Bernalillo), Rick Little (R-Dona Ana & Otero), and James Strickler (R-San Juan).

PRAYER POINTS

OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE
Please go to our Action Center and urge Governor Martinez to add House Bills 75 and 76 to the Legislative Session agenda.

Thank Gov. Martinez and Ask Her to Advance All Pro-Life Bills!

Good news!  Governor Martinez has added an important pro-life bill to the Legislative Session agenda!

House Bill 56, the Parental Notification of Abortion Act, would require notification of a parent or guardian when an abortion is to be performed on a minor. Your quick help is now needed to thank her for prioritizing this important piece of legislation and to ask her to add the other two pro-life bills to the Legislative Session agenda as well!

Please contact the Governor’s Office today to thank her and to ask her to add the other two bills.

We’ve made it simple to communicate this message to the Governor.  Simply go to our Action Center and you can send this message in 30 seconds.

Also, please forward or share this message with friends.  It’s important that the Governor hear from as many people as possible.

Finally, after you’ve emailed the Governor, please also call her office at (505) 476-2200 and leave the same message.

Thank you for making your voice heard for life!

The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team