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
Well, that didn’t take long. As soon as the regular legislative session was done – a little over a week ago – Gov. Lujan-Grisham suggested that she may call a special session to bring full-fledged recreational marijuana to New Mexico. That session begins tomorrow – at a heavy cost to taxpayers.
But while the cost of security for the special session (potentially well over $100,000) has gotten the main attention, the real cost to taxpayers will come if the Legislature and Governor actually legalize recreational pot. After all, in states that have fully legalized marijuana, the cost to the states has been enormous.
As New Mexicans, we have to look no further than Colorado to see the social and fiscal costs since legalization in 2014. Since that time, our neighboring state 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.
Watch this short video to see what awaits New Mexico if legislators choose to do the Governor’s bidding and legalize recreational weed.
TAKE ACTION: Please take 30 seconds to send a message to your state senator and representative asking them to oppose legalizing recreational marijuana in the special session. (Even if you contacted them earlier, it’s important that they hear from you again.)
Thank you for speaking up and spreading the word!
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team
A Letter to the Governor and the Health Secretary
By Vince Torres, President & Executive Director
This week, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico® partnered with Right to Life Committee of New Mexico and New Mexico Alliance for Life in sending a letter to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Secretary of Health Kathy Kunkel. The purpose of the letter was to raise objections to the continuation of elective abortions taking place across the state despite the Governor’s directive prohibiting non-essential health care services, procedures, and surgeries. The letter also raised concerns about the influx of women from other states and countries coming to New Mexico to obtain abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic—increasing the potential spread of the virus in our state.
As stated in the letter, despite calls from the Governor to lessen demands on our health care system for services needed by those who are ill or at increased risk, New Mexico’s abortion industry continues to operate and deplete sorely needed medical equipment and supplies. Rather than joining healthcare providers in donating PPE and equipment to COVID-19 response, the abortion industry has instead elected to exploit the pandemic and the anxiety of women and families by continuing to promote elective abortions in communities across our state.
As for the Governor and her Administration—they appear to be complicit in these activities and, sadly, all too willing to risk equipment and supply shortages, and the potential spread of COVID-19 across state lines to appease the financial interests of the abortion industry. According to sources, the response from the Governor’s office so far has been that abortions are not elective surgeries and abortion clinics will not close.
Think about it—while local New Mexico small businesses shut their doors, the Governor has ensured that Planned Parenthood remains “open for business.”
We have posed these questions to the Governor:
- While your administration is in a race to “save lives,” why are you are allowing New Mexico’s abortion industry to continue to take the lives of innocent preborn children?
- While surgery centers and medical professionals postpone elective and diagnostic procedures at your directive, why are abortion centers allowed to churn out elective surgical and chemical abortions on demand?
- And while you demand that New Mexicans stay at home and avoid travel to curb the spread of COVID-19, why are you allowing women from all over the country and even the world to come to New Mexico to obtain abortions, putting us at greater risk for transmission across state lines?
The Governor has publicly stated, “we all have to do our part” to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to “flatten the curve,” to save lives, and to ease the burden on our healthcare system.
One final question for the Governor—why is the abortion industry always exempt from these rules?
It is time for New Mexico leaders to put a stop to the abortion lobby’s successful push to be the exception to every rule. The abortion industry constantly argues that they should not have to follow the medical standards of care required for other outpatient surgical centers. Now, during a worldwide pandemic, they continue to terminate lives for profit while the rest of us sacrifice and fight to save them.
Governor Lujan Grisham—you have the power to protect us from the abortion lobby. Please do it.
(To read the letter to the Governor and the Secretary, please click here.)
We need your help now!
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is desperately working behind the scenes to try and ram a radical abortion up-to-birth bill through the Legislature before the Session concludes in 10 days. As you may recall, we defeated the radical abortion bill—HB51—last year, and if the Governor has her way, it may be back this week!
Remember, this legislation:
- Keeps late-term abortions up-to-birth legal for any reason;
- Puts all risk of an abortion on women’s shoulders by stripping legal protections, including consent;
- Strips the requirement that only licensed physicians can perform abortions; and
- Forces hospitals clinics, doctors, and medical professionals to offer and/or participate in abortions.
Last year, thousands of New Mexicans like you helped us send a clear and powerful message to the Governor and our legislators—that we oppose abortion up-to-birth, infanticide, and efforts to force medical professionals to perform abortions against their conscience. It is clear that we have much more work to do and that the Governor and our Legislators need to hear from us again!
Please help us tell the Governor, your State Senator, and your State Representative today: “No more pro-abortion legislation!”
As always, we have made it simple for you to communicate this message. Simply click here and you can send the Governor and your Legislators a message in 30 seconds!
After you have sent the message through our Action Center, please call the Governor’s Office at (505) 476-2200 and let them know, “As a New Mexico voter, I do not support pro-abortion legislation.”
Thank you for standing for life!
The Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico Team
By Vince Torres
As the states and nation prepare for the 2020 Election, national abortion groups are ramping up their election efforts, and New Mexico is in their crosshairs. Following the historic defeat of radical abortion legislation during the 2019 Legislative Session, these groups have made it clear that electing pro-abortion majorities in the New Mexico Senate and House is a top priority. At the same time, they are also working to support pro-abortion candidates in our federal races in hopes of keeping New Mexico’s Congressional delegation 100% pro-abortion.
Who are these groups?
Meet Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is the largest single provider of abortion in the country. According to their annual report, they conducted almost 333,000 abortions during the 2018 fiscal year. Earlier this month, Planned Parenthood announced its plans to spend $45 million for the 2020 election. The organization’s local political arm, Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico, will likely announce its endorsements next year and they will invest heavily in those races.
Meet NARAL. NARAL Pro-Choice America is the oldest pro-abortion advocacy group in the country. Founded in 1969, NARAL’s lobbying efforts include strong advocacy for unrestricted, elective abortion up to the moment of birth. Meanwhile, the group strongly opposes common-sense policies supported by most Americans, including legislation to protect babies who survive botched abortions. In September, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham spoke at NARAL’s 50th Anniversary Dinner. During her remarks, the Governor said she was “ashamed” and “disgusted” that pro-life Democrats had joined together with Republicans to defeat the radical abortion bill, House Bill 51. NARAL endorsed the Governor in 2018 and they have already engaged in the 2020 Election with formal endorsements of Democratic Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (2nd Congressional District) and Teresa Leger Fernandez (Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District).
Meet Emily’s List. Emily’s List is a national pro-abortion organization with a self-proclaimed mission to elect pro-abortion women to office. Like NARAL, Emily’s List has already engaged in the 2020 Election by endorsing Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small, candidate Teresa Leger Fernandez, and 11 incumbent New Mexico State Senators and Representatives—Senators Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez (D-Albuquerque) and Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics (D-Cerrillos); and Representatives Karen Bash (D-Albuquerque), Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos), Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces), Natalie Figueroa (D-Albuquerque), Joy Garratt (D-Albuquerque), Dayan Hochman-Vigil (D-Albuquerque), Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe), Melanie Stansbury (D-Albuquerque), Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson (D-Albuquerque).
Why are we sharing this information? Because as you research the candidates running for office, it is often difficult to find out where they stand on the issue of “life.” Few candidates actually advertise their support for abortion up to the moment of birth, or their opposition to parents being notified when their minor child tries to obtain an abortion. Most candidates do, however, share their endorsements and we want you to know that an endorsement from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, or Emily’s List means one thing—the candidate is radically pro-abortion.
In the coming months, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico® and our local allies will be working hard to keep you informed on the “life” issue and where the candidates stand on abortion. We cannot allow these radical, national abortion groups to hijack our state, and without our engagement, that is exactly what will happen.
Together, let’s PRAY for life.
Together, let’s SPEAK UP for life.
Together, let’s ACT for life.
And come 2020, together, let’s VOTE for life.
Paid for by Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico
By Vince Torres, Executive Director
Last week, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton in Washington D.C. at NARAL’s 50th Anniversary Dinner. NARAL is a national, radical pro-abortion group that advocates for abortion up-to-birth while opposing protections for babies born alive after botched abortions.
The Governor’s presence and participation at the event was not a surprise. During her gubernatorial campaign last year, Governor Lujan Grisham received hefty contributions from the abortion industry and NARAL provided a formal endorsement.
What was surprising, however, was the Governor’s ironic and misguided characterization of NARAL’s work. On the eve of the event, the Governor took to Twitter to praise NARAL for their “defense…of human rights.”
Will all due respect, Governor—killing babies is not “human rights” work.
Killing babies is a human rights violation.
Even after experiencing the most significant setback in her political agenda so far—the defeat of the radical abortion bill, HB51—it is clear that Governor Lujan Grisham remains out of step with the majority of New Mexicans on the issue of life. In fact, recent polling suggests that she is even out of step with a majority of self-proclaimed “pro-choice” Americans.
Consider these statistics from a February 2019 poll:
- 68% of pro-choice Americans oppose abortion the day before a child is born;
- 66% of pro-choice Americans oppose abortion in the third trimester; and
- 77% of pro-choice Americans oppose removing medical care for a viable child.
How does New Mexico fit in to these numbers? Well…
- New Mexico allows abortion up to the moment of birth;
- New Mexico allows unrestricted abortion in the third trimester;
- New Mexico does not require medical care for babies born alive after botched abortions; and
- As uncovered by our friends at New Mexico Alliance for Life, aborted baby parts were harvested for years at one of our state’s major universities (UNM).
As so eloquently stated by Mother Teresa, “Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.”
If Governor Lujan Grisham wants to work on “human rights,” perhaps she should begin by addressing the egregious human rights violations taking place right here at home, on our most vulnerable population—the preborn children of New Mexico.
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.
In late-March, 80 actors and actresses sent a letter to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp threatening to boycott the State of Georgia if he signed the “Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act”—a bill which protects unborn babies from abortions once a heartbeat is detected.
Last week, Governor Kemp sent a clear message to those radical, pro-abortion Hollywood elites when he signed the bill and boldly stated: “We will not back down. We will always continue to fight for life.”
This week, our Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, also had a message for the pro-abortion Hollywood crowd. Her message: “Bring your cameras” to New Mexico.
“The situation in Georgia is appalling to me and, I know, so many New Mexicans. I hope film companies make the ethical choice and invest in states that are clear about baseline human rights, not least a woman’s autonomy over her own body. To those production companies and filmmakers across the U.S. and elsewhere I would offer a simple reminder: New Mexico is wide open for business. Bring your cameras.” -Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
It is a sad day in New Mexico when our Governor attempts to leverage the lives of unborn children for movies—when she publicly affirms that appeasing Hollywood is more important than protecting innocent life—when she describes pro-life legislation as “appalling”—and when she portrays abortion as both “ethical” and a “baseline human right.”
Has this really become our state’s best selling point? That we can kill unborn children up to the moment of birth in New Mexico?
Growing up, I always believed that one of our state’s best characteristics was our commitment to family and life. Never did I imagine a day when we would be infamously known for our culture of death.
We need change. We need it now. And we can make it happen.
Through faithful prayer and persistent action, let’s be the agents of change needed to reverse the culture of death in our state. Let’s be the answer to our own prayers. Together, let’s foster a New Mexico where life is cherished.
Standing for Life,
President and Executive Director
As you know, efforts to legalize assisted suicide in New Mexico have been growing in recent years. Following the November election, advocates now believe 2019 will be the year that assisted suicide is passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor-Elect Michelle Lujan-Grisham.
People on both sides of this issue agree on one thing—assisted suicide is a serious matter and it should not be addressed lightly. Consequently, Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico has been working with other local allied organizations to help educate the public on the unintended and dangerous consequences of assisted suicide, and the slippery slope we have seen in other states and countries.
Take Canada for instance. Recently, it was reported that just two years after legalizing assisted suicide nationally, physicians from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children are already pursuing policies that would extend assisted suicide options to minor children, without parental notification or consent.
You read that right—assisted suicide for children, without parental input!
The unintended consequences of assisted suicide—including death after misdiagnosis and/or inaccurate prognosis; intimidation from family members; and/or abuse from profit-driven insurance companies—should be enough for us to reject this legislation come January. However, if more reason is needed, look to Canada’s slippery slope.
Friends—when a society determines that some lives are not worth living and that assisted suicide is a “dignified” and “compassionate” option, it is only a matter of time before that “option” is extended to more and more individuals.
There is a reason that our State Legislature has rejected this legislation every time it has been presented. There is a reason that the overwhelming majority of other states have consistently rejected this legislation. Because when it comes to caring for those facing serious illness and end of life, we can and should do much better than abandoning them to hopelessness and death.
Instead, let us work together to find solutions that offer genuine compassion and comfortable care to those when they need it most.
Every life is worth fighting for.
President and Executive Director