Abortion-rights bill passes in NM Senate

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The bill that would repeal a ban on abortions is moving forward in Santa Fe.

The ban on abortions is not enforceable due to the Roe v. Wade decision. However, Democrats fear a more conservative jury could overturn Roe v. Wade.

Republicans attempted to make amendments and substitutions to Senate Bill 10 Thursday.

"This is my first time to speak on the Senate floor and I want to tell you, as a newly-elected conservative senator, who just campaigned on a pro-life message, I am introducing an abortion bill," said Sen. Crystal Diamond. "I am standing here as an example of compromise."

Some Republicans raised concerns about rural areas, worried that doctors would leave if they are forced to carry out abortions.

"Now, it doesn’t make any difference to anybody in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, anywhere else in this state. But, it makes a difference in my town. In my district, because the doctors are hard to come by," said Sen. Pat Woods.

Democrats, who had enough votes to pass the bill without any Republicans, were not interested in debating– with the exception of Sen. Jacob Candelaria. He called the argument that doctors would leave New Mexico because of the bill a lie.

"I rise to make that point, because my husband is a physician, who is very committed to women’s healthcare," Candelaria said. "He became a physician, largely, because he saw the discrimination that women and gay people face every time they walk into the doctor’s office, sometimes. And I had long conversations with him. And the idea, the argument behind this amendment is laughable."

Attempts to change the bill by Republicans were shot down by party line votes.

Senate Bill 10 now heads to the House.