by Lauren Castillo, SFLA Rocky Mountain Regional Coordinator
Students Lobby for Ban on Late-Term Abortion
Millennials are far from being dispassionate about the legislative process and the pro-life
position. In New Mexico, where there are currently no restrictions on abortion and late-term abortion facilities, many homeschool, high school, college, and nursing students went
to the state capitol, Santa Fe, to testify in support for House Bill 390 the Late Term Abortion Ban Act and House Bill 391 Parental Notification Act last week. For most of the students this was the first time they had lobbied, attended a committee hearing, or even visited the capitol!
Getting a front row seat
Before going inside I did a quick training with them and then I was able to lead them in a discussion with New Mexico’s Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez which could not have gone better. They met other legislator’s, those who sponsored these bills, lobbyists, and legislative aids as well as some of the House Regulatory and Public Affairs committee members.
The majority of the students were from the Four Corners Students for Life Club (Farmington Homeschool and Farmington High School students) from Farmington, NM and traveled from about four hours away and stayed the entire time. We arrived at the roundhouse at 11:00am and the second hearing did not end until approximately 9:00pm, they were so passionate and dedicated to ensuring that the pro-life generation be heard.
We are the Pro-Life Generation
These students owned the room with their POWERFUL testimonies and captivating presence. I heard many of those who were there in opposition to the bills whispering about their presence and discrediting them because they “have no life experience” or that they have no idea what they want as women because they are just young girls. Despite all of this, the students were so captivating because they spoke about how their generation and peers back home do not support late-term abortion and support parental notification based on their activism and work as a club. They talked about their friends who faced unplanned pregnancies, or were abortion-minded, and how they responded to them as pro-lifers. They shared how powerful the work they do as the pro-life generation impacts others in their community. The students ensured that the attendants knew just how crucial offering life-affirming resources and support are to the abortion minded people. They stood up and said that New Mexico needs strong families and empowered young people, and both of those can be achieved practically through education and support.
It was a priceless experience, and every single one of them said they couldn’t wait to go and do it again! I can’t wait to see how these students continue to grow in their work as pro-life champions.
One of the most important parts of this day was their ability to meet other pro-life students and supporters from all over the state and come together to see how important it is to create a network of activism and support for one another. Some students were shocked to see that the majority of the pro-abortion advocates who were there testifying in opposition
to these bills, were not of their generation. They witnessed the anger on their faces, in their voices, and lack of friendliness they exhibited towards the pro-life students.
They were able to hear the extreme beliefs of the abortion advocates in New Mexico, such as:
- One pro-abortion supporter testifying against this legislation said: “if we are considered an abortion factory, then we are doing good for women”.
- An ACLU New Mexico Representative who was in opposition to HB 390, the Late Term Abortion Ban Act said that “we cannot allow the affliction of pain against others” for his reasoning on why we should keep late term abortion legal. I wonder if he listened to the description of how late term abortions are committed…
- A Planned Parenthood lawyer and board member stated that late-term abortions are done in hospitals. I don’t think he did his research or has ever heard of Southwestern Women’s Options, abortionist Curtis Boyd’s facility where they do abortions to the day of birth and home to the majority of late-term abortionists in our country right in downtown Albuquerque, NM.
The great news was that BOTH of these House Bills passed out of this first committee and the students cannot wait to continue their work to help them become laws in New Mexico. This is so crucial because New Mexico is the late term abortion capitol state of the country.
Here’s what some of the students said about the day:
“Friday was extremely empowering to know that what I said actually made a difference in a big way! I was standing up for what I believed in, in a way that actually made an impact.” – FHS SFL Member Erin
“I’m really glad I got to take part in making the end of abortion one step closer to a reality!” – Four Corners SFL Member Emily
“Going to the House of Representatives was incredible! I learned so much, and was able to truly make a difference. After it was over I felt so happy and empowered that our small group was able to have such a big impact.” – FHS SFL Member Anna
“Going to the Capitol in Santa Fe to support two pro-life bills, changed my life. Not only was it informative and educational, but it showed me how much I was meant to be in the pro-life movement and how dedicated to the cause that I am. If you ever want to know how much of a difference you make in the pro-life movement, I recommend taking a trip like this. I truly changed my state and am on my way to changing the world.” – FHS SFL President Audrey