Friends, the threats to women’s reproductive health care in this legislative session are as real as what we faced in the fall of 2013 during the Respect ABQ Women campaign! Last week something happened at the NM Legislature that I’ve never seen since I joined the NM Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice 20 years ago as a phone bank volunteer, two bills that would prevent women in New Mexico from getting the reproductive healthcare they need passed the NM House! And just yesterday, the Senate tried to bypass their own rules and push these two bills to an immediate vote!
In a poor, mostly rural state like New Mexico, it will be mostly teens, families living in poverty, and rural families that will bear the costs if these bills make it to the Governor’s desk. The right to abortion will be even further out of reach for low-income rural women, who already often travel long distances to find the few abortion providers in our state. The continuation of increased poverty for women over the next four years will also drive up the need for abortion, as it has over the last several years.
How do we respond? Just like we did in 2013. If each of us steps up to the challenge we have a chance to keep abortion, contraception and other important healthcare for women and their families safe and accessible. Part of being a faithful and complete member of the human community is having the freedom to make our most personal decisions guided by our own consciences. To deny a woman of that right is not a “value” worthy of my faith.
So many of you have already donated your time and your treasure, you’ve emailed and called members of the legislature, you’ve attended committee hearings, and some of you have personally cared for women either by escorting them safely to the doors of our providers or sheltering them in your homes. But now I have to ask you to do more, and if you haven’t yet, we need you to join us now to tell our legislators to make sure that the decision to end a pregnancy remains solely where God has entrusted it, with a woman, according to her own faith and values. Please make your donation today!
It’s the generosity of people like you that has helped strengthen and sustain our essential work, and for that we can’t thank you enough. The New Mexico Religious Coalition’s unique voice and moral authority has never been as powerful as they can be now. You have helped build this voice, now we must us it as never before. We ask that you please, at this crucial time, help as much as you can.
We cannot do this without your faithful support. If you’ve already made a donation recently, please consider joining our monthly donor program. And if you are one of our very special monthly donors, please think about increasing your monthly gift. This year is going to be a decisive one, and so much depends on the actions you take right now. Thank you for your generosity!
Joan Lamunyon Sanford, Executive Director