ALBUQUERQUE: Today, in a 3-2 vote, the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted down HB 56
, the Parental Notification of Abortion Act, which would have required a parent to be notified before a minor girl could have an abortion.
“New Mexico is a state that is known to not adequately protect women having abortions,” said bill sponsor Representative Rick Little (R – Dona Ana & Otero). “Not protecting minors is a lawsuit waiting to happen. If something goes wrong in an abortion and the parents didn’t know, somebody is going to get sued.This bill protects our girls and will ensure that a minor’s past medical and family medical history will be taken into account.”
In New Mexico, a loophole in state law allows pregnant teens to be taken off school premises for an abortion without a parent’s knowledge. HB 56, would require that parents be notified before an unemancipated minor can receive an abortion.
“According to countless studies, even those cited by Planned Parenthood, 60-80% of pregnant minors 15 and under are impregnated by adult males,” said Elisa Martinez, executive director of New Mexico Alliance for Life. “Again, look no further than U.S. Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar, who sexually abused over 150 young women and girls. In this climate, why would we possibly want to exclude parental involvement?”
Martinez pointed out that the New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, has actively opposed HB 56, while their website supports parental notification and states, “New Mexico does no require parental consent or notification, (although some states do). Even though it may not be required by law, we strongly recommend that young woman discuss their pregnancy with their parents.
“As a father, my two oldest daughters were coached by teachers and my 12-year-old daughter came home with birth control devices without my knowledge,” said native New Mexican Glen Strock, in support of HB 56. “Later, my older daughter was raped and I was never notified. We need legislators’ help. We cannot be parents in a permissive society. Children are dying. Please, for God’s sake get off your butts and pass this bill.”
Studies indicate that the younger the sex abuse victim is, the older the perpetrator
is. 60-80% of pregnant minors under 16 are impregnated by an adult male
The 3-2 vote was along party lines. Representatives Eliseo Alcon (D – McKinley & Cibola), Deborah Armstrong (D – Bernalillo), Patricia Roybal Callalero (D – Bernalillo) voted to kill the bill, while representatives Monica Youngblood (R – Bernalillo) and Bob Wooley – (R – Chaves, Lea & Roosevelt), voted to advance the bill.