New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill into law Feb. 26 repealing the state’s 52-year-old law that prohibited abortion except in certain circumstances. The new law also removes conscience protections for hospitals and health care workers.
Under the previous law, it was a felony for an abortionist to terminate a pregnancy, except in cases of rape, birth defects or serious threats to a woman’s health.
The law had been unenforceable for the last 48 years because of the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling in which abortion was legalized nationwide. Yet abortion advocates seized on Democratic gains in the midterm elections last November and urged New Mexico lawmakers to repeal the decades-old law, ensuring that abortion remains legal in the state in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned.
The new legislation, titled “Repeal Abortion Ban,” was passed in the Democratic majority state Senate 27-15 on Feb. 11 and in the House with a 40-30 vote on Feb. 19. In the House, six Democrats joined with Republicans in opposition.
“I think as a state we are making a huge mistake,” said Republican state Rep. T. Ryan Lane of Aztec after the House vote. “We are impacting physicians who have no desire to be a part of these types of elective procedures or even medical procedures.”
Ironically, Gov. Lujan Grisham argued that pro-life supporters are “in the business of dehumanization.”
“New Mexico is not in that business—not anymore,” she said after signing the bill. “Our state statutes now reflect this inviolable recognition of humanity and dignity.”
Yet Steve Pearce, chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico, found no reason to celebrate.
“This is a sad day for New Mexico. When Gov. Lujan Grisham penned her name to Senate Bill 10, she signed a death warrant,” he said in a statement. “She, along with dozens of New Mexico Democratic lawmakers, approved the order to end the lives of thousands of unborn children. The new law is an immoral, dangerous one–a law that allows late-term abortion and offers no protections for girls, women or health professionals. It permits the murder of the unborn, endangers the health and lives of women and eliminates any conscience provision to allow a doctor to opt out if he or she opposes the procedure on moral, ethical or religious grounds.”
Above: New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signs Senate Bill 10.
Photo: Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News