Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – Different Senate, completely different vote.
Two years after voting down a bill that may have repealed a long-dormant New Mexico abortion ban, a new-look state Senate voted 25-17 on Thursday to approve related laws.
The vote, which occurred after greater than three hours of emotional and generally testy debate, units the stage for the Democratic-controlled House to give last approval to the measure by as quickly as subsequent week and ship it on to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
“We can hold our own moral values about abortion and still trust a pregnant woman and her family to make that decision for herself,” stated Senate Majority Whip Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, the lead sponsor of the bill.
The last vote on the measure, Senate Bill 10, got here after a number of proposed Republican amendments have been rejected, together with makes an attempt to ban abortions after both 20 or 35 weeks of being pregnant.
Republicans have been additionally angered that Lopez, in a break with typical Senate decorum, refused to reply questions throughout the flooring debate.
And they argued that repealing the 1969 abortion legislation that criminalizes abortion most often would trigger an exodus of New Mexico well being care employees, because the focused statute additionally features a “conscience clause” that permits medical doctors and nurses to decline to take part in an abortion process if they’ve ethical objections.
“It leaves no choice to our doctors,” stated Sen. Crystal Diamond, R-Elephant Butte, who described it as a “no-choice” bill.
But majority Democrats pushed again towards the declare, mentioning different medical conscience protections in state and federal legislation would stay in place if the 1969 legislation is repealed.
“We shouldn’t be doing scare tactics,” stated Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, who described the GOP claims as political statements not backed up by legislation.
The 25-17 vote on the bill fell largely alongside social gathering traces, with simply two Democrats – Sens. George Muñoz of Gallup and Pete Campos of Las Vegas – becoming a member of with Republicans in voting towards the laws.
Both Muñoz and Campos additionally voted towards the 2019 abortion repeal laws, however six different Democrats who voted towards that 12 months’s bill are not within the Senate, with 5 of them having been defeated within the June 2020 main election.
New Mexico’s abortion legislation is basically unenforceable now due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade determination.
But modifications to the Supreme Court’s make-up throughout the tenure of former President Donald Trump have raised questions on whether or not that ruling could be partially or totally overturned within the coming months.
Were it to be enforceable, the state’s statute would make it against the law to finish a lady’s being pregnant besides in sure circumstances, resembling rape and incest.
Lujan Grisham, who stated final 12 months New Mexico’s abortion ban can be “gone” as quickly as there have been sufficient votes within the Senate to go a repeal measure, stated in a Thursday assertion the laws affirms a lady’s autonomy over her personal physique.
“I thank and applaud the women senators who spoke in such personal terms in their supportive testimony today,” the governor stated. “This was a moment for common-sense leadership and I am grateful to the lawmakers and advocates who have met that moment.”
However, state Republican Party Chairman Steve Pearce described it as a “sad day” for New Mexico, describing the laws as immoral.
“This is a shameful bill that gives the abortion industry carte blanche and endangers the lives and health of girls and women in our state,” Pearce stated in an announcement.
New Mexico is at the moment among the many states with the fewest abortion restrictions within the nation.
It’s additionally one in every of seven that allow abortions at any stage in a being pregnant, in accordance to the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit analysis group that works to advance reproductive well being.
Several feminine senators shared private tales throughout Thursday’s debate, with first-term Sen. Katy Duhigg, D-Albuquerque, at one level telling colleagues a couple of doable recurrence of most cancers that might require surgical intervention.
Even earlier than the ultimate Senate vote was taken, House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, informed reporters that he expects to refer the abortion bill to a House committee shortly.
It might be up for last motion within the House by late subsequent week, he stated, relying on different scheduling issues.
Journal Capitol Bureau reporter Dan McKay contributed to this report.