Today, New Mexico Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales joined New Mexico women and doctors to highlight the dire consequences of the GOP gubernatorial nominee Mark Ronchetti’s proposed constitutional amendment to ban abortion.
Lieutenant Governor Morales, who has worked with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to proactively protect reproductive health care access in New Mexico, emphasized the dangers New Mexicans would face under Ronchetti’s abortion ban and what is on the line in the upcoming election.
“We are here today because Republican nominee for governor Mark Ronchetti just last week proposed a new constitutional amendment to ban abortion,” said Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales. “New Mexico has strong protections for reproductive rights on the books right now. We have a message here today for Mark Ronchetti: New Mexicans don’t want your abortion ban. We will not go backwards on reproductive rights.”
Right now, abortion is protected in New Mexico because of our Democratic leaders. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has been a champion for reproductive rights throughout her term as governor. In 2021, Governor Lujan Grisham took action to overturn New Mexico’s outdated abortion law, ensuring that New Mexicans have the right to an abortion, regardless of the US Supreme Court. This year, while other states were passing laws to restrict abortion, the governor pro-actively protected and expanded access.
Lieutenant Governor Morales was joined at the press conference by New Mexico women and a doctor, who shared their own personal experiences with abortion access and why they believe it is so important for New Mexicans to reject Mark Ronchetti and his proposed abortion ban.
“Many of us in the medical field are highly concerned about politicians’ efforts to ban abortion. Physicians take an oath to “do no harm” as part of their medical training. Most of us, including me, became a doctor because we want to help our patients stay healthy and live the best lives that they can. Well, these politicians are making it harder for us to do that.” said New Mexico physician Dr. Heather Brislen. “When abortion is banned, patients, physicians, and communities suffer. Doctors are prevented from saving lives. And politicians like Mark Ronchetti are responsible.”
“It was so painful and so very frightening, really shameful and I’m sure, dangerous. But, I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I survived,” said Marlene Simon, a Santa Fe woman who shared her story about getting an illegal abortion before Roe v. Wade, after being raped in 1969. “My tale is a cautionary one. A story that I hope will inspire others to act. Because what we are seeing throughout the country are laws being put in place that are more draconian and anti-woman, than those of 50 years ago.”
“If abortion is made illegal, an unwanted pregnancy has the potential to take me out of school, make me withdraw my grad school applications, and could be the defining factor in whether or not I make rent or am evicted from my apartment,” said Lila Nezar, a lifelong New Mexican and Public Health student at University of New Mexico. “If abortion is made illegal, my future is at risk. Mark Ronchetti is wrong about abortion, wrong about our futures, and wrong for New Mexico.”
Ronchetti, who has described himself as “strongly pro-life” for years, opposes a woman’s right to choose “at all stages,” and has made it clear that he will restrict abortion through whatever means possible if elected in New Mexico. He’s proposed multiple plans to try to do so—ranging from this constitutional amendment to ban abortion, to a 15-week ban that’s identical to the “unbelievably cruel” nationwide ban pushed by Senate Republicans, to a plan to “end abortion in New Mexico,” according to Pastor Steve Smothermon.