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New Mexico House panel kills pro-life bills on late-term abortion, parental consent, conscience rights

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SANTA FE, New Mexico, March 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-abortion lawmakers in the New Mexico House killed two separate bills covering three modest pro-life policies on Tuesday while sweeping pro-abortion legislation remains poised to progress through the legislature.

House Bill 600 would have banned abortions past 20 weeks for any reason except medical emergencies and required minors seeking abortions to obtain written consent from at least one parent or guardian. House Bill 608 would have protected doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals’ right to refuse to participate in an abortion.

But by a 3-2 party-line vote, the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted down both bills Tuesday, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Introduced by Republican state Reps. Rod Montoya and  Rebecca Dow, the bills were a response to Democrats’ introduction of House Bill 51, which would repeal multiple unenforced, pre-Roe sections of the law that criminalized abortion. New Mexico Alliance for Life executive director Elisa Martinez called it the “most extreme bill in the nation because it keeps elective abortion-up-to-birth, and also seeks to force medical professionals to participate.”

In particular, it states that “Sections 30-5-1 through 30-5-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1969, Chapter 67, Sections 1 through 3) are repealed.” Section 30-5-2 is the provision stating that hospitals are not required to “admit any patient for the purposes of performing an abortion,” and that anyone employed by or otherwise associated with a hospital “shall not be required to participate in medical procedures which will result in the termination of pregnancy, and the refusal of any such person to participate shall not form the basis of any disciplinary or other recriminatory action against such person.”

HB 51 “compels doctors, nurses, hospitals to perform abortion. We believe this bill if it passes will be challenged,” Montoya warned last month. It “continues the practice of late-term abortion in New Mexico. The abortion industry is not regulated at all in New Mexico.”

Nevertheless, it passed the state House 40-29, and over the weekend passed the Senate Public Affairs Committee 4-2, according to the NM Political Report. Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has already pledged to sign it into law.

As for the pro-life measures, Montoya said he “will bring this legislation back year after year after year after year” until it passes.

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