39 Democrats and 1 former Republican in the House of Representatives voted yesterday to repeal a decades-old statute criminalizing abortions – sending the measure to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Legislators have prioritized the repeal of the statute because of the threat of a reversal of Roe v. Wade by a conservative majority on the United States Supreme Court. A priority of hers, the governor has already indicated that she intends to sign the bill:
Two years ago, a thin bipartisan majority of the State Senate voted against a similar piece of legislation, killing it.
Voters wouldn’t have it. As it would be, a handful of conservative Democrats lost their primary elections to progressive challengers who championed issues like reproductive health. Voters then sent a small number of moderate Republicans packing as well in the general election, assembling the most progressive upper chamber in recent memory.
Abortion opponents, predictably, aren’t very happy. Former US Senate candidate and founder of NM Right to Life Elisa Martinez posted this photo of her computer screen showing the board with the final House vote. Readers should note that the text at the end of her tweet contains misleading and untruthful language.
Representative Phelps Anderson, who voted for the bill in committee and subsequently left the Republican Party, wasn’t the only member of the body crossing the aisle. Six Democrats voted against the bill on the House floor.
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