New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham gives her weekly update on COVID-19 in New Mexico and the state's effort to contain it during a virtual news conference from the state Capitol in Santa Fe, N.M., on Thursday, July 23, 2020. Eddie Moore/he Albuquerque Journal/AP

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed a pro-abortion bill that aims to prevent local communities from protecting unborn babies from abortion. The new law overrides local ordinances passed by two counties and three cities in the state, which aimed to protect unborn babies from abortion. Pro-life leaders have criticized the bill, claiming that it could also potentially allow infanticide and force public school teachers to help students get abortions.

The bill, sponsored by State Representative Linda Serrato, D-Santa Fe, is supposed to protect “access to reproductive and gender-affirming health care” by prohibiting school boards, city councils, and other local governments from discriminating against people based on their “reproductive” choices. Serrato said her bill would help New Mexicans access “health care,” especially in rural parts of the state, but pro-life advocates argue that the term “health care” is used to refer to elective abortions that kill unborn babies.

Pro-life groups have pointed out that the bill creates an abortion compliance mandate for teachers and other public employees. The bill prohibits any public institution that receives taxpayer funding and its employees from interfering with or denying a person’s access to abortion, with penalties of up to $5,000 for violations. The American Center for Law and Justice, a leading pro-life law firm, said the new law, coupled with a second bill, Senate Bill 13, potentially also could allow infanticide.

New Mexico has some of the most pro-abortion laws in the country, allowing unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to birth and forcing taxpayers to pay for their deaths. Its Democrat leaders have been working aggressively to expand abortions even more since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year. Grisham recently promised to spend $10 million of taxpayers’ money to build a new abortion facility near the Texas border, where Texas laws protect unborn babies from abortion.

Republican lawmakers spoke out passionately about protecting unborn babies and introduced several amendments to the bill, but none passed. Democrats control the state legislature by a strong majority, and the governor is a pro-abortion Democrat. This move has triggered outrage among pro-life advocates, who are pushing for greater protections for unborn babies in the state.

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