Abortion bill fails to pass NM Senate | KOB 4

Abortion bill fails to pass NM Senate

Megan Abundis
March 14, 2019 10:17 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. — A bill that would have repealed New Mexico's anti-abortion law failed to pass the Senate Thursday night. The House had passed the bill in early March.


The vote was 24-18. Eight Democrats voted with 16 Republicans to keep the law.

Those eight Democrats were Sen. Pete Campos of Las Vegas, Sen. Carlos Cisneros of Questa, Sen. Richard Martinez of Española, Sen. George Munoz of Gallup, Sen. Mary Kay Papen of Las Cruces, Sen. Gabriel Ramos of Silver City, Sen. Clemente Sanchez of Grants and Sen. John Arthur Smith of Deming.

Some Democrats cited their constituents' concerns, while others talked about their own religious beliefs.

The anti-abortion law is largely not enforced because of the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.

Rep. Joanne Ferrary, who was sponsoring the bill, had previously said it would have protected abortion rights in New Mexico if Roe v. Wade is eventually overturned.

A spokesperson for the Reproductive Rights Council at the ACLU New Mexico called the vote a failure of the Senate.

"HB 51 would have repealed outdated, dangerous, archaic criminal law that puts our NM women and their healthcare providers at risk of prison. This is incredibly dangerous to have on our books," Ellie Rushforth said. 

"Life is precious, no matter when it begins and when it ends. Life is precious and we need to protect it," said Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho.

Repealing the law was high on Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's priority list. She had mentioned it in her State of the State address when the session opened, and was expected to sign the bill.


Megan Abundis

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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