Tectonic Political Shift in New Mexico Prompts Life-Saving Pro-Life Legislation

By Cheryl Sullenger

Santa Fe, NM — A tectonic shift in the political climate in New Mexico following the 2014 Mid-term Elections has resulted in the filing of three important pro-life bills in a state that has previously refused to pass even the most rudimentary of abortion laws.

The House Chamber of the State Legislature is now remarkably in the hands of Republicans for the first time since 1954, when Republicans controlled by only a one-seat advantage. With Republican Gov. Susanna Martinez now publicly vowing to support pro-life legislation and the liberally-bent Albuquerque Journal calling for a vote on a late-term abortion ban, there is hope that the first-ever piece of pro-life legislation may actually make its way into law.

The three bills introduced so far deal with such issues as parental notification, local hospital privilege requirements for doctors, and a ban on abortions after viability.

On Friday, the House Regulatory and Public Affairs Committee will hear testimony on HB 390, the Late-Term Abortion Ban and HB 391, the Parental Notification of Abortion Act.

Another bill, introduced in the Senate, is SB 437, which requires physicians that do abortions to maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles of the facility where the abortions are done.

Here’s a closer look at these proposed new laws.

Late-Term Abortion Ban

In November, 2013, pro-life forces used a citizen petition process to put the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance on the ballot within the City of Albuquerque, where the largest late-term abortion facility in the country operates without restriction or oversight. While the ordinance enjoyed a 10 point approval lead in the polls, grass-roots pro-life groups were out spent and out organized by Obama’s political activism group, Organizing for Action, which is actually Obama’s renamed campaign machine that continues to advance a radical leftist agenda. Their experience helped turn out “against” votes in early voting, and as a result, the ordinance was defeated.

However, due to the public education that took place during the Albuquerque referendum, which drew nation attention, opposition to the grisly practice late-term abortions has continued to resonate in the Land of Enchantment. It now appears ready to tackle the thorny question of late-term abortions on a higher level.

HB 390, which would restrict abortions at twenty weeks of pregnancy and later, is based on fetal viability instead of the stronger fetal pain test. The legislations establishes the legal presumption of viability at 20 weeks and required that all abortions in New Mexico be done only by a physician.

Even though it contains an overly-broad “health” exception and a “sexual abuse, rape, or incest” exception and contains the weaker viability test instead of the stronger fetal pain capability standard, we encourage the passage of this bill. If it becomes law, this legislation will save some babies, and some are better than none, especially in a state that currently has no restrictions on abortion whatsoever.

According to a Huffington Post poll, 59% of Americans favor a Federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks, and looking at the procedure, it is easy to see why.

The late-term abortion process employed at Albuquerque’s Southwestern Women’s Options is known as the Induction Abortion Method. The three-four day procedure was developed in Wichita, Kansas, by the infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller.

It involves injecting the growing baby through the mother’s abdominal wall with a drug, Digoxin, which causes the baby to suffer a heart attack and die. The woman’s cervix is then packed with dilators called laminaria, that slowly expand the opening of the womb and she is sent to a hotel to wait out the abortion process. On the second day, the luminaria is removed and replaced, and the woman is given Cytotec, an ulcer drug that also stimulates uterine contractions. On the final day, with the woman in full-blown labor, the dead baby is either birthed – often into a toilet – or dismembered and removed. Often the contents of the head are suctioned out and the skull collapsed to make deliver of the dead baby faster. Some women have expressed they suffered emotional trauma and deep regret after these kinds of abortions, including a woman named Kelly, who described her horrific late-term abortion experience on the O’Reilly Factor news program.

These late-term abortions are fraught with risks. For example, in 2011, pro-life activist Tara Shaver obtained a 911 recording that revealed that a woman with a history of a previous Cesarean Section suffered a life-threatening ruptured uterus during a 35-week abortion. Shaver, along with Operation Rescue, filed complaints that were adopted by the New Mexico Medical Board against Tiller-trained abortionist Shelley Sella, resulting in four charges of gross negligence. Inexplicably, the Board lost the disciplinary case against Sella, and she was never disciplined.

Since then, Shaver has documented at least 17 medical emergencies at Southwestern Women’s Options since she began seeking such records four years ago.

“Late-term abortions are dangerous to women and horrifically brutal for the baby, who is old enough to feel pain and live outside the womb in most cases,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The majority of Americans agree that abortions at twenty weeks and older are inhumane for a compassionate society. We fully support banning these barbaric abortion procedures in New Mexico and in every other state.”

Parental Notification

Another bill that will be heard in committee on Friday HB 3091, which would require parental notification before minors could receive abortions.

But this bill is about much more than parental consent. It also requires abortionists to immediately notify authorities when they suspect a minor patient is pregnant as the result of sexual abuse, rape, or incest. It also establishes mandatory reporting to the State of all abortions for statistical analysis, which will help lawmakers and the public understand who is having abortions and why. This is important information for pro-life groups seeking to provide assistance to abortion-vulnerable women.

While this bill also has exceptions for minors who are the victims of sexual abuse, this bill would also save some babies and provide much-needed information for groups that can use it to save more babies in the future.

Hospital Privileges

Operation Rescue heavily supports legislation like New Mexico’s SB 437 that requires abortionists to maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles of the facilities where abortions are done. It only makes good common sense.

In New Mexico, the late-term abortionists employed by Southwestern Women’s Options actually live in California. They work on a rotation, each flying in to Albuquerque to do abortions for a week, then flying home. Problems arise when women experience abortion complications after these fly-in abortionists leave the state. Women have been forced to make their own way to whatever emergency room they could find to get the help that the clinics are unequipped to handle. Often, the clinic medical records and the abortionist are not available, which had caused delays in emergency treatment for women injured during abortions

“Hospital privileges add a layer of protection for women. Abortionist who cannot qualify for hospital privileges should not be performing surgical abortions in the first place,” said Newman. “This law will weed out those who are unqualified and have the potential to close abortion clinics that employ substandard providers.”

Even though the penalties for violating this law are nominal, this bill deserves support. This law has the potential to spare women from suffering inflicted by incompetent and fly-in abortionists. In addition, it has the potential to close clinics that employ abortionists that are unqualified for hospital privileges and when abortion clinics close, abortion numbers drop, and lives are saved.

“It is gratifying to see the changes in New Mexico, which was once completely hostile to any kind of abortion standards and oversight. We know these changes could never have happened without the work of pro-life activists such as Tara Shaver and her husband, Bud, who have documented so many abortion abuses and have worked tirelessly to get the truth about New Mexico’s dangerous and unaccountable abortion cartel out to the public,” said Newman. “We will be watching these bills carefully and look forward to their eventual passage into law.”

Abortion Worker Gone Wild! Carhart Hurls Invectives at Videographer During Assault

By Cheryl Sullenger

Germantown, MD – During the filming of a documentary about pro-life efforts to spare women the trauma of late-term abortions at LeRoy Carhart’s Germantown Reproductive Health Services, a clinic worker rushed out and assaulted a videographer in an attempt to prevent her from filming.

Contains attack footage!

In a video of the incident released by Two Crown Productions, a clinic worker is seen pushing videographer Wendy Wilmowski, and blocking her camera with an umbrella while Carhart gets out of a car and begins to head toward the clinic.

Carhart can be heard saying, “Hey, I wouldn’t push her if I was you.”

Wilmowski replied, “You’re talking to her, right. I’m not doing anything.”

Carhart replied, “I’m talking to you, b****.”

Later, the woman with the umbrella is heard calling Wilmowski a “fat a**.”

Later, another giggling abortion worker is seen peeking out the clinic’s front door and giving the worker who assaulted Wilmowski a thumbs up sign.

“We find nothing funny about using violence to deny a peaceful citizen her Constitutional Rights,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “This incident once again confirms that the abortion workers known as ‘escorts’ are the troublemakers outside of abortion clinics and that Carhart is a vile man that sees no problem with violence against women, inside the womb or out.”

Wilmowski is shooting film for a new documentary entitled “Saved” that features not only pro-life sidewalk counseling efforts in Germantown, but touching interviews with families who were persuaded to walk away from Germantown Reproductive Health Services and keep their babies.

Violence on the part of Carhart’s abortion clinic staff escalated after Two Crown Productions released a trailer of the film that was designed to “raise awareness and financial support for the film,” according to the company’s press statement.

Since then, Wilmowski has been attacked and prevented from filming on at least two occasions.

“Ever since we released this trailer, LeRoy Carhart and his employees have done whatever they can think of to try and stop our filming,” stated Wilmowski.

Operation Rescue has documented eight medical emergencies at Carhart’s Germantown abortion facility, including the death of 33-week abortion patient Jennifer Morbelli, who died from abortion complications two years ago on February 7, 2013.

Since 2010, Maryland pro-life activists have documented that 226 babies have been saved from abortion due to their efforts outside the largest late-term abortion facility on the east coast.

“We support the pro-life work in Germantown, which we helped establish there in 2010 when Carhart first relocated his late-term abortion business, and support the making of the documentary ‘Saved,’” said Newman. “It’s important that the truth be told about the human tragedy inflicted on women by late-term abortions and the loving alternatives that are available. We hope that this film will help women understand that life is the most precious of all gifts.”

To learn more about “Saved” at TwoCrownProductions.com.
To learn more about pro-life efforts in Germantown, visit PrayforGermantown.com.

Dramatic Reversal: Abortion Protests Lead to Promising Public Policy Shift in New Mexico

By Cheryl Sullenger

Albuquerque, NM — The first-ever National Strike for Life, held on January 22-23 was an astounding success, especially in New Mexico, where the idea for the two-day strike first originated.

One of the most impressive developments to come out of the event was a dramatic change in heart of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who campaigned as a pro-life supporter, but has been reticent in the past to take any action to make abortion facilities more accountable in her state where clinics have no oversight and abortions are legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

“There are literally no abortion laws in New Mexico. There’s no waiting period, no parental notification, and no safety standards or inspections. There’s no limits on abortion whatsoever. Because of this ‘Wild West’ attitude toward abortion, babies are killed in Albuquerque up until the day before birth,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, co-author of the new book, Abortion Free, which describes how to end abortion one community at a time. “Women and babies who should be protected by law are vulnerable prey to unscrupulous abortion mills that exploit the moms and take the lives of their babies for profit. It is only reasonable to call on the Governor for reforms.”

Now, a remarkable turn-around has taken place as a result of a year of focused protests culminating in last week’s National Strike for Life. Led by Protest ABQ’s Bud and Tara Shaver, who once interned for Operation Rescue, and Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, the protests weren’t always popular.

In fact, last June, Martinez’s Re-Election Campaign Manager and Chief Campaign Strategist, Jay McCleskey, became tired of the protests that begged for help from Martinez in protecting women and babies from late-term abortions and confronted the pro-life activists – including the Shavers — stating, “You are all pieces of S***!”

Bishops speak out

But during the Catholic Bishop’s annual prayer breakfast with legislators on January 21, Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, joined in Project ABQ’s call for abortion reforms and urged the New Mexico Legislature to pass a bill that would ban abortions at 28 weeks, or in the third trimester of pregnancy. So important is this new bill that the Bishops of New Mexico have made it their top legislative priority.

“It seems very reasonable after 28 weeks to have a bill for restrictions,” stated Archbishop Sheehan.

With the Republicans now in control of the House in New Mexico after years of domination by pro-abortion Democrats, for the first time the bill actually has the potential of passing.

Governor relents

Just two days after Archbishop Sheehan’s speech, Gov. Martinez relented of her previous inaction and went on the record in support of the bill banning late-term abortions. In addition, her spokesman noted that she also believes parents should be notified before a minor can have an abortion and went on the record with her support of Parental Notification legislation.

Albuquerque Journal supports late-term abortion ban vote

Then on Monday, January 26, the Albuquerque Journal published an editorial calling on the Legislature to put a late-term abortion ban to a vote. This is remarkable, given the newspaper’s opposition to the 2012 Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks in the City of Albuquerque, where the largest late-term abortion facility in America, Southwestern Women’s Options, dangerously operates.

“In 2013, 42 years after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade, a Gallup poll found a nation still deeply divided – 47 percent said they were pro-choice and 46 percent pro-life. But in the same poll, just 14 percent thought abortion should be legal in the last three months of pregnancy and 80 percent opposed it,” stated the Journal’s Editorial Board. “When it comes to late-term abortion, New Mexico’s lawmakers should put themselves on record as well.”

Beginning of the end?

The Bishop’s public support for ending late-term abortions via new legislation, Gov. Martinez new pledge of support for pro-life legislation, and the Albuquerque Journal’s new-found support of a late-term abortion ban represent a foundational shift in public policy that could be the beginning of the end for unrestricted abortion in New Mexico.

If successful, the new legislation would save thousands of lives from abortion and spare women from the exploitation and grief that is currently inflicted upon them by the abortion cartel in New Mexico every day.

“Certainly, if it had not been for Protest ABQ’s relentless effort to bring about change, this dramatic reversal would never have happened,” said Newman. “Creating social tension through protest is still an effective tool for achieving change, and the developments in New Mexico prove it.”

Operation Rescue partnered with Protest ABQ in sponsoring the National Strike for Life, along with The Survivors, Created Equal and The Anti Choice Project: Washington D.C.

For more details and photos from the National Strike for Life activities nationwide, visit ProtestABQ.com.

Photos courtesy of ProtestABQ.com.