Updated: January 28, 2021 09:48 PM
Created: January 27, 2021 04:32 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A bill that aims to repeal a state law that criminalizes abortion passed another hurdle in a House committee Wednesday afternoon.
The original abortion ban was put into New Mexico’s books in 1969 and reads in part, “Criminal abortion consists of administering to any pregnant woman any medicine, drug or other substance, or using any method or means whereby an untimely termination of her pregnancy is produced with the intent to destroy the fetus. Whoever commits criminal abortion is guilty of a fourth degree felony.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling makes the state law unenforceable, meaning someone can’t be criminally charged for having an abortion. However, many Democratic lawmakers fear that Roe v. Wade may be overturned by the current conservative Supreme Court. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it would make criminal prosecutions for abortions possible in New Mexico.
The bill has drawn strong opinions from people on each side of the debate. On Wednesday, nearly 100 people spoke for and against the bill.
“I plead you to vote no on HB7. From what I understand, this is a radical bill allowing abortion up to birth,” said Angelica Blas, a New Mexico resident.
“I am begging you, please vote no. The abortion business is not a public service, rather it is harm to the public. I repeat abortion is not about helping, it’s about hurting the woman and the child in the womb,” said Amanda Collins, another resident.
“Deeply personal healthcare decisions, including abortion care, and abortion care later in pregnancy must be between a woman and her family in consultation with her health care provider. Politics has no place here. I strongly urge you to vote in favor of passing House Bill 7,” said Sondra Roeuny, with Planned Parenthood.
“I believe women should have their own choice with what we do with our bodies, especially in Native communities,” said New Mexico resident Tanya James.
HB 7 passed the committee with a vote of 8-3. It will move to one more House committee before going to the full House floor.
Earlier this week, the Senate version of this bill passed. Eventually, the two bills are expected to fold into one piece of legislation.
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