New Mexico State Sen Gerald Ortiz y Pino proposes bill to stop freedom of conscience exemptions on abortions
New Mexico’s State Senator, Gerald Ortiz y Pino, introduced Senate Bill 282, which would repeal religious exemptions for participating in abortions.
SB-282 states, “A hospital shall not refuse to provide a reproductive health service if withholding the reproductive health service would result in or prolong a serious risk to the patient’s life or health; and, where a failure to provide the reproductive health service would violate the medical standard of care owed the patient.”
The legislation defines “reproductive health service” as including “termination of pregnancy.”
Ortiz y Pino, describes himself as a “faithful Catholic” despite proposing the pro-abortion legislature. He nicknamed this bill a “Patient Protection Act,” but did not explain how abortion “protects” women, and the title of the legislation does not consider the baby in the womb to be a “patient.”
New Mexico law allows exemptions for both individuals and hospitals with moral or religious objections to abortion. While SB-282 does not directly refer to those legal exemptions, the bill would eliminate those religious freedoms.
Ortiz y Pino voted to keep abortion legal up to the day of birth for any reason in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
New Mexico Alliance for Life (NMAFL) executive director Elisa Martinez called the bill a “double attack.”
“SB-282 forces pro-life medical professionals to participate in abortion and its definitions of ‘standard of care’ and ‘health’ are so broad as to have no meaningful limitations,” she said.
State Senator Bill Sharer, also a Catholic, explained, “SB-282 will require Catholic healthcare providers to commit mortal sins, which should horrify anyone of good conscience.”
“It was bad enough when Senator Ortiz y Pino used his Catholic faith to justify abortion until the day of birth,” Martinez said. “Now he wants to force healthcare providers, including those of his own Catholic faith, to violate their consciences by participating in abortion.”
Sen. Sharer summarized the pro-abortion politics in his state: “The only reason we still have abortion today in New Mexico is because ‘Catholic’ Democrat legislators support it and because Catholic leaders are silent,” he said.
SB 282 “does not refer to the (religious) exemption statute at all, meaning that even pro-life legislators could vote for this life-ending bill without knowing they are repealing the basic constitutional right to religious liberty,” Martinez said.