SANTA FE – The Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee today advanced House Bill 7 on a 6-3 party-line vote with all Republicans voting against the measure. In addition to prohibiting local governments from enacting ordinances to restrict abortion or “gender-affirming” care, the bill would coerce all public bodies and persons acting on behalf of public bodies to facilitate requests for abortions and gender transitions.
“This legislation is dangerous for many reasons,” said Senator Gregg Schmedes (R-Tijeras), a physician and member of the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee. “In addition to violating the rights of parents to be involved in life-altering healthcare decisions for their children, these policies will inevitably violate the conscientious objections of medical professionals and public employees who refuse to facilitate these procedures.”
Section four of House Bill 7 permits the Attorney General or a District Attorney to sue the entity responsible for a violation of the act. The court may apply appropriate remedies, including a civil penalty of $5,000, or actual damages against the entity.
“House Bill 7 is the epitome of government overreach,” added Senator David Gallegos (R-Eunice). “Our local governments are best suited to assess the needs of their areas. This legislation would needlessly prevent them from enacting local ordinances to preserve the well-being of their people. Progressive politicians from Albuquerque and Santa Fe do not speak for the citizens of Hobbs and Eunice, and it is time that they stop trying to shove their radical agenda down our throats.”
House Bill 7 will now advance to the Senate Judiciary Committee.