By Micaiah Bilger
New Mexico House Democrats blocked a bill Thursday that would have required doctors to provide life-saving medical care to babies born alive after botched abortions.
The Democrat-majority state House committee voted to table the bill in a 3-2 party line vote, The Albuquerque Journal reports.
The bill, sponsored by Minority Whip Rod Montoya, a Republican, would have required abortion practitioners and other doctors to try to preserve the life and health of a baby born alive after a botched abortion. The bill also would have required the same protections for babies born in miscarriages and natural births, according to the report. It would have made it a first-degree felony to intentionally kill an infant born alive after one of these procedures.
“This is not an abortion bill,” Montoya said. “This is a human rights bill for infants who are born alive – whether it’s following an abortion, a miscarriage or a natural birth.”
Here’s more from the report: The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee heard emotional testimony and debate for about two hours – as supporters of the legislation described the horrors of botched abortions and the killing of infants.
But in the end, the committee’s three Democrats voted to table the bill, preventing it from proceeding through the Legislature.
Opponents of the bill said that laws and medical standards are already in place covering how to handle abortion and other procedures. Dr. Sandra Penn, a physician for more than 30 years, urged the committee to avoid “political interference” in medical care.
On Sunday, the state House committee rejected two more abortion-related bills, New Mexico Politics reports. One bill would have prohibited abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain. The second would have required that a parent or guardian be notified before a minor has an abortion.
Both bills failed in 3-2 party line votes, according to the report.
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