House Bill 7 passes its first committee in the House of Representatives and gains momentum.
SANTA FE – Today, the Respect NM Women and Families Act, House Bill 7, sponsored by Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena (D-Mesilla), Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces), Rep. Georgene Louis (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Deborah Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) and Speaker Of The House of Representatives Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) was passed in its first committee in the New Mexico House of Representatives with bipartisan support.
The Respect NM Women and Families Act passed the House Health and Human Services Committee on a bipartisan vote with all seven of the Democratic members of the committee voting in favor of passing House Bill 7 along with one Republican member, the remaining three Republican members of the committee voted against. The Respect NM Women and Families Act would repeal a pre-Roe v. Wade statute from 1969 that is still on the books in New Mexico. The 1969 abortion ban would make abortion a felony, jeopardizing access to safe and legal care in New Mexico. Patients seeking abortion care would be forced to beg for permission from a panel of strangers.
“Abortion access is necessary for trans people and people across gender spectrums, sexual orientations, family structures, religious affiliations, income levels, and those with children,” Charlene Bencomo, Executive Director of Bold Futures says. “Maintaining access to legal abortion will keep people safe throughout every legislative district in New Mexico.”
If Roe v. Wade is removed or is weakened by the Supreme Court of the United States, this law could quickly become enforceable again.There is already a court case aimed at repealing and weakening Roe v. Wade, the landmark court case that legalized abortion in the US, in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case out of Mississippi, will consider the state’s 15 week abortion ban.
“Health, not politics, should drive important medical decisions,” said Sondra Roeuny, Public Affairs Director for Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico. “New Mexico women, families, and communities deserve the highest quality care, including abortion care later in pregnancy. A patient’s personal health needs should be the focus of their care. It’s time to get rid of this dangerous ban.”
“As an Indigenous person I recognize the barriers my People face when it comes to living fulfilling healthy lives,” said Nicole Martin (Navajo, Laguna, Chiricahua Apache, and Zuni), Co-founder and Sex Educator with Indigenous Women Rising. “When you look at policies such as the 1969 abortion ban, or the way ICE performed hysterectomies on undocumented people in detention centers. I hope you see how inherently racist, classist, and sexist these policies were. Indigenous People’s access to abortion care is a necessity. That is why my organization launched the abortion fund we have. We are in our third year of funding the practical support our relatives need. We know our relatives are faced with making complex decisions. We are an organization that is led by our core values. Our values teach us compassion and kinship. We want Indigenous Peoples to have access to safe and legal abortion care, always.”
“When the immoral priorities of our nation, the lack of social supports, the absence of justice create tragedies; abortion is a blessing.” said Joan Lamunyon Sanford, Executive Director of the NM Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, “The Respect Women and Families Act provides protection for those who have made a personal decision about abortion based on their own religious beliefs, moral code, and conscience.”
“NOISE FOR NOW stands in support of House Bill 7, The Respect NM Women and Families Act,” said Amelia Bauer, Executive Director for NOISE FOR NOW. “We are proud to stand alongside the majority of New Mexicans that know that access to safe and legal abortion must be protected. I speak not only on behalf of NOISE FOR NOW and the hundreds of musicians that stand with us, but also as a mother. If Roe v Wade were to be repealed or weakened, the old 1969 abortion ban could quickly make access to abortion care across our state illegal. We must repeal the ban.”
The Respect NM Women and Families Act is endorsed and supported by the New Mexico Medical Society, New Mexico Public Health Association, NM Academy of Family Physicians, NM Chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, New Mexico Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives, American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, NM Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Bold Futures, Equality New Mexico (EQNM), Forward Together Action, Girls Inc. of Santa Fe, Indigenous Women Rising, Las Cruces Coalition for Reproductive Justice, National Organization for Women (NOW), New Mexico chapter, National Organization for Women (NOW), Santa Fe chapter, National Organization for Women (NOW), Albuquerque chapter, New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, New Mexico Women’s Agenda, Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico, ProgressNow New Mexico, Southwest Women’s Law Center, Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) – Con Mujerxs Gender Justice, Tewa Women United, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, League of Women Voters, AAUW, and Noise for NOW.
Governor Lujan Grisham has highlighted removing the old 1969 abortion ban from the books as one of her priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session. Currently the Supreme Court of the United States has a conservative and anti-abortion majority. The overturning or weakening of Roe v. Wade could soon become reality. It is of utmost importance that the New Mexico Legislature repeal the this old and outdated abortion ban from statute and safeguard abortion care access for all New Mexicans. House Bill 7 now heads to the House Judiciary Committee for it’s final committee hearing in the New Mexico House Of Representatives.
Respect New Mexico Women is a movement of women, families, faith leaders, medical providers, and community-based organizations united in support of New Mexico women and their reproductive health decisions. Members of Respect New Mexico Women are the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, Bold Futures, Equality New Mexico (EQNM), Girls Inc. of Santa Fe, Indigenous Women Rising, Las Cruces Coalition for Reproductive Justice, National Organization for Women (NOW) New Mexico chapter, NOW Santa Fe chapter, NOW Albuquerque chapter, New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, New Mexico Women’s Agenda, Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico, ProgressNow New Mexico, Southwest Women’s Law Center, Strong Families New Mexico, Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), Tewa Women United, and Whole Woman’s Health.