February 8, 2016

GOP Rep won’t say why he voted against abortion bill

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A Republican whose vote helped stop a bill aimed at defining “born alive” and mandating how doctors treat “born alive” babies, is staying tightlipped on the thinking behind his vote on Saturday.

Rep. Andy Nuñez, R-Hatch.

Rep. Andy Nuñez, R-Hatch.

Rep. Andy Nuñez, R-Hatch, wouldn’t go into detail with NM Political Report on why he broke party lines and voted to table the bill.

“It’s just what I was doing,” Nuñez said of his vote.

Nuñez wouldn’t elaborate on his vote, but did say he didn’t see the proposal—sponsored by Rep. Rod Montoya, R-Farmington—as an “abortion bill.”

“It’s not. It’s a born alive bill,” Nuñez said.

Both supporters and opponents of the legislation focused on the late-term abortion aspects of the legislation.

Montoya told the committee on Saturday that his proposal was designed to protect those infants who still show signs of life after abortions.

“What we’re talking about is the life of a child who is born alive after an abortion procedure,” Montoya said before his bill was tabled.

Nuñez said he hasn’t received many inquiries as to why he voted to table the measure, but he implied he would like to keep it that way.

“I’d rather let it die,” Nuñez said of the issue of how he voted.

Democrats opposed the legislation as an attempt to scare doctors away from providing abortions.

Nuñez has a history of blurring party lines that goes back to his first attempt to repeal the state law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in 2011. At the time, Nuñez was a Democrat.

After a dust-up with then-Speaker of the House Ben Lujan, Nuñez changed the party affiliation on his voter registration to ‘decline to state’ making him the first New Mexico lawmaker not associated with a party.

He joked at the time that his caucuses, as a one-person party, were always fast and ended in unanimous support.

After losing a reelection bid to the late Phillip Archuleta in 2012, Nuñez officially registered as a Republican.