ROSWELL, N.M. — The city of Roswell, New Mexico has passed a resolution declaring that life begins at conception, and that human life “is unique and precious to God” and “must always be protected.”
“Whereas, each and every innocent human life is unique and precious to God; and … human life begins at the moment of conception and continues, uninterrupted, until the moment of natural death,” the resolution reads. “Whereas, innocent human life must always be protected and preserved; and … the protection of all human life is important to the people of the City of Roswell …”
It notes that life is the first right declared in the Declaration of Independence, and that the American College of Pediatricians noted in a 2017 abstract, “The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception—fertilization.”
The vote, which was held on Friday, was unanimously supported by members of the public in attendance at the meeting. The Daily Record states that Mayor Dennis Kintigh asked for a show of hands both for and against the resolution, and that “[i]n support of the unborn resolution, all hands were raised and no hands raised in opposition.”
Five council members—Savino Sanchez, Jacob Roebuck, Steve Henderson, Caleb Grant and Jeanine Corn Best—had reportedly requested for the matter to be brought forward for a vote by the full council.
The resolution was proposed in light of a recent effort in the state legislature to repeal an unenforced law criminalizing abortion in New Mexico.
As previously reported, House Bill 51, sponsored by Reps. Joanne Ferrary, D-Las Cruces, and Georgene Louis, D-Albuquerque, sought to do away with the state criminal abortion statutes that were passed in 1969, and have been unenforced since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade.
“Criminal abortion consists of administering to any pregnant woman any medicine, drug or other substance, or using any method or means whereby an untimely termination of her pregnancy is produced, or attempted to be produced, with the intent to destroy the fetus, and the termination is not a justified medical termination,” current New Mexico law reads in part.
If the law were enforced, those who perform an abortion on a woman for a reason other than that which is deemed legally “justified” would be been charged with a fourth-degree felony.
A “justified medical termination” under the law pertains to cases where the pregnancy is deemed a threat to the life or “physical or mental health of the woman,” or if the baby had a serious “physical or mental defect,” or if the child was conceived in rape or incest.
There is no gestational limit in the statutes as to when those “justified” cases become illegal.
H.B. 51 had previously passed the House of Representatives 40-29, and had cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee with an amendment that would retain the conscience protections in the current statutes. However, eight pro-life Democrats joined with the 16 Republicans in the Senate to defeat the measure 24-18 on Thursday.
“I stand unified against legislation that weakens the defense of life and threatens the dignity of the human being,” stated Sen. Gabriel Ramos, D-Silver City, according to the Albuquerque Journal. “The state of New Mexico must strive to protect and uphold the dignity of all people from conception to death.”