April 19, 2017
For Immediate Release

Congressmen Pearce, Blackburn Address Criminal Referrals for

University of New Mexico, Southwestern Women’s Options
ALBUQUERQUE: Today, Congressman Marsha Blackburn, Chairman of the Select Panel on Infant Lives and Congressman Stevan Pearce lead a coalition of pro-life New Mexico leaders to address the two criminal referrals the Panel issued last year.  The Panel’s referrals citied numerous violations of federal and state law between the University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options late-term abortion center.
“At the core of our investigation was a federal statute, USC 289g(2), which deals with receiving money and funds for research and how human tissue is transferred,” said Congressman Blackburn.  “To receive even one penny of profit, is a ten year felony offense.” 

The Panel issued a criminal referral to Attorney General Balderas, which cited violations of 42 USC 289g(2) between the University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options.  The Panel also issued a second criminal referral citing systemic violations of NMSA 24-9-A-1, based on a lawsuit filed by a New Mexico woman and documents submitted by NMAFL.
“Today we call on everyone who claims to respect women’s rights, to stand with us and demand justice and action,” said Elisa Martinez, executive director of New Mexico Alliance for Life.  “Thousands of New Mexico women’s rights have been violated, as they were not provided a legal and valid informed consent to donate infant body parts for UNM research.”

New Mexico Alliance for Life has provided the Select Panel thousands of documents obtained by New Mexico’s Inspection of Pubic Records Act (IPRA) from the University of New Mexico.  To date, the Attorney General Hector Balderas has made no public commitment to a formal investigation of the criminal referrals. Congressman Pearce and pro-life leaders called on Balderas to take decisive action.  View video of the press conference here.


The New Mexico Alliance for Life is a nonpartisan organization focused on changing state and local laws by empowering women with better and informed choices when facing unplanned or difficult pregnancies and advocating for better protections for women and unborn children from an unsafe abortion industry. For more information visit


NM Alliance for Life, NM Alliance for Life, Albuquerque, NM 87110

From Congressman Pearce:



Albuquerque, NM (April 19, 2017) Congressman Steve Pearce today joined Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (TN-07), New Mexico State Legislators, and pro-life advocates for a Press Conference on the investigation into the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Southwestern Women’s Options’ (SWWO) violation of New Mexico laws.


“Today’s Press Conference was not a debate for life or choice, what matters here is respect for the law. The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, chaired by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, unraveled deeply troubling questions ongoing in the state of New Mexico throughout their investigations. Of the fifteen criminal referrals sent out by the Select Investigative Panel, two of them were sent to the New Mexico Attorney General’s office in regards to ethical and legal violations at the University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options, yet no action has been taken to hold someone accountable,” stated Rep. Pearce. “Now, we can no longer remain silent.”


Rep. Pearce continued to state, “we united together today because clear legal violations were made by the University of New Mexico, and no one should be held above the law. Our request for accountability, justice, and respect for the law reaches to the very moral foundations of this country – A nation of laws can only be such if we respect them.”



The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives sent their first criminal referral to the New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas in June of 2016 after finding the University of New Mexico violated the Spradling Act – prohibiting the exchange of fetal parts produced through an induced abortion. In December 2016, the Panel sent a second criminal referral after discovering more evidence that the Southwestern Women’s Options did not acquire proper consent by women prior to using their unborn infant tissue for UNM research.


The final report released by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives can be found here.

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