Dear Friends,

You may have noticed that you’ve been missing a newsletter from us the past few weeks. I apologize for our delay in communications as we have been working with a new email system and in so doing are working to be sure that our message continues to reach you properly. This week, we are back up and running and your newsletters will resume!

While we’ve had radio silence, we’ve been up to some very exciting things! As you all know, our goal from the beginning of this New Mexico chapter of Family Policy Alliance has been to establish an independent, state based and operated organization. Family Policy Alliance has supported us financially and with many great resources as we have worked diligently toward this goal and the time has now come to announce the establishment of our new independent organization.

Welcome to New Mexico Family Action Movement!

As a supporter of our organization, you are part of the FAM, and we thank you for your role. It is because of your generous gifts and support in prayer that we are celebrating the beginning of NM FAM today.

What does this mean for us?

As we move forward as New Mexico Family Action Movement, we will be continuing diligently in the same work of seeking to transform the culture of New Mexico to one that:

What does this mean for Family Policy Alliance?

Our national cohorts at Family Policy Alliance are thrilled to see us reach this monumental achievement. They will continue to provide excellent resources for us as we continue in an alliance relationship with the national group and many other independent state groups who are working toward the same goals.

What does this mean for you?

Moving forward as an independent organization means that we need you more than ever. We need you to be engaged on issues, active in prayer, and investing in a better New Mexico with your resources.

As an independent organization, we will operate 100% from New Mexico financial support. We need those who are willing to give monthly for budget support. We also need those who are willing to give toward special projects such as our Transparency in Education legislation that is being prepared for next legislative session. Whatever your role might be in the FAM, we need you!

Your support thus far has enabled our New Mexico efforts, and your continued support of NM FAM will boldly expand those efforts to transform the culture of New Mexico.

Will you support the FAM?

As we step into our independence, there are specific needs to be met. Will you consider joining us today to meet those needs? Here is what we need:

Double your gift!

A generous supporter has offered a $5,000 match gift to put towards any of our needs! When you give today, your gift could be doubled up to $5,000! Will you help us by giving online today, or by mailing your gift to:

New Mexico Family Action Movement
11819 Canyonlands Pl SE
Albuquerque, NM 87123

Enthusiastically for a Brighter NM Future,

Jodi Hendricks
Executive Director

It’s the last week of the session, and things are happening quickly. Thanks for staying engaged and taking action!

On Sunday, there were two big developments on bills that we’ve been telling you about.

ASSISTED SUICIDE. First, the Senate Judiciary Committee met for several hours on Sunday and heard House Bill 47, which would legalize assisted suicide in New Mexico. Family Policy Alliance was one of four groups allowed to testify against the bill in the minimal time allowed.

It was clear that the hundreds of emails you sent through our Action Center – plus countless phone calls to key senators – made a difference. For a time, it appeared that the bill might be defeated in the committee. But one of the senators with strong concerns about the bill ultimately voted to allow the bill to go to the Senate floor, where he will attempt to address some of its major problems. With his vote, the bill passed committee, 5-3.

Despite the fact that it only passed committee last night, it could be voted on by the full Senate as early as today!

Your action is needed!

RECREATIONAL POT. Thank you to the hundreds of you who also reached out to the Senate committee that was scheduled to hear the bill to fully legalize Big Marijuana in New Mexico. Yesterday, at the last minute, that bill (House Bill 12) was moved to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it may be considered today or tomorrow.

That move to a new committee is likely an indication that your messages were making a difference! But now Senate Judiciary needs to hear from New Mexicans who are concerned about the Colorado-style damage that this bill will inflict on our state!

Please take a moment to urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose recreational marijuana (HB12). When you send a message, it will also include your own senator, even if they aren’t on the committee.

From the elderly and infirm (assisted suicide) to vulnerable young people (Big Marijuana), these attacks devalue life and must be fought. Thanks again for standing firm and taking action!

The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team

“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” -Psalm 107:29

One thing I think all of us can agree on is that we’ve experienced a lot of change over the past year, to say the least. We’ve been rocked and rolled in constant storms and some of us may have even experienced times when we thought we weren’t going to make it. (Though, I’m glad you did). After this year, I can certainly say my perspective has changed a lot, but for the better. Perhaps you view some things differently, as well.

I hope at least once this year you got to have God speak to the storm in your defense. Stilling it to a whisper, hushing the waves, and bringing you calmly into the harbor. The verse above is a beautiful image that represents the perfect outcome for anyone navigating through a storm, and it’s my prayer for New Mexico families sailing into 2021.

Yet, the Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico’s ship has a political mission, and because of that, we anticipate we’ll be in rough seas for a few years to come. Yet, we’ve learned great lessons from Jesus’ disciples, who were in a storm so fierce that they roused Jesus from his sleep in a panic  believing they were going to drown. In that moment, these disciples forgot who they were, where they were going, and even their mission. (Mark 4:35-41)

But as Daniel 11:32 reminds us,  “but the people who know their God will stand firm and will take action.”

At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we’ve learned that a boat with Jesus at the helm isn’t sinking. It is our job to stand firm and take action. God will do the rest.

We may have our political work cut out for us, but we know whose we are. We are the people of God. That means the enemy has no power over us and that’s why we do not go forward in fear.

We know where we’re going. Forward, into battle, to continue to be the voice in the Land of Enchantment for the right of every New Mexican to live according to their faith.

We know our mission. To stand for a New Mexico where God is honored, religious freedom thrives, and life is cherished.

As the new year begins in full force, many of you know Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico is experiencing a change in leadership. Vince Torres, our former Executive Director, is moving on to his next God-called field of harvest and joining the staff of the New Mexico Senate Minority Office. We extend our heartfelt encouragement to Vince and his family, knowing he’ll continue to lead in the storm with a steady hand and faithful heart.

Because of Vince’s fortitude and strength as our former leader, augmented by your embrace of support, this organization has never been in a stronger position, nor more prepared to fight against a radical and dangerous anti-life agenda coming this session.

We continue to look for the next captain of this ship, but until then it is my privilege and honor to continue Vince’s work of representing your voice in the legislature and serving your policy needs.

Thank you for having me onboard!

God guide you and keep you,

Stephanie Curry
Policy Manager

 

 

In the coming weeks, Family Policy Alliance will communicate details regarding our search for the next leader of Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico. In the meantime, interested candidates may send their resumes to careers@familypolicyalliance.com.

“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