Three legislators filed a bill to prevent patients from being denied an organ donation due to mental or physical disability from happening in New Mexico, dubbed Glory’s Law.
Senate Minority Whip Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho, Rep. Jenifer Jones, R-Deming, and Sen. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque are the sponsors of SB 71.
Glory’s Law is named for Christy Sellers’ youngest daughter, Glory, who is almost completely deaf, has Down Syndrome and other issues affecting her heart and lungs.
“I heard about a story in another state where a baby was denied a kidney transplant solely based on that child having Down Syndrome,” Sellers said at a press conference about Glory’s Law Thursday. “Right now, (New Mexico) doesn’t have any laws in place to protect people with disabilities should they need a transplant, they could be denied solely based on having Down Syndrome solely based on things that don’t affect their quality of life, or make them any less worthy.”
Seller and her family have adopted three disabled children including Glory.
“I’m so super thankful for Senator Brandt and just that he’s coming alongside us and sees the value of making sure our people with disabilities are safe and cared for before there is an issue,” Sellers said.
Brandt, as a sponsor of the bill, spoke on behalf of Glory’s Law.
To Brandt’s knowledge, this type of discrimination has not happened in New Mexico and the bill is a means of preventing it.
“Just making sure this doesn’t happen in our state,” Brandt said. “I think it’s really a good thing for us to be able to say we really support and again, we believe that everyone’s life is important no matter who they are, no matter what disability they have.”
Lt. Gov. Howie Morales, who is a parent and was a special education teacher, was also at the press conference showing support for Glory’s Law.
“We look and see and the opportunities that we have within the state to be joining 30 other states across the country to ensure that we’re gonna’ protect the most vulnerable New Mexican citizens. We’re going to do that,” Morales said. “I’m grateful that even though last year, we had a lot of movement that took place within this legislation. We can quite get across the finish line this year. We’re confident we’re going to be able to do that and I want to thank Senator Brandt for his advocacy to ensure that he doesn’t give up on this piece of legislation, because families are dependent on this.”
Last year the legislation was passed by committees but the 30-day session was not enough time to get the bill signed into law.
Another Glory’s Law supporter at the press conference was University of New Mexico Head Football Coach Danny Gonzales who has a daughter with Down Syndrome and another with Type 1 Diabetes.
“That doesn’t define who they are. It’s a part of who they are and for somebody to be denied because somebody decides that they’re not worthy,” Gonzales said. “We did get early momentum last year. We ran out of time, but I’m really excited. I’m so thankful for Senator Brandt for doing everything that he’s done to get this going.”
The bill is currently in the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee, which is set to hear it Tuesday. Glory’s Law passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.