Rhetoric, activism heat up in anticipation of abortion measures

For Sara and Josue Maldonado, the question of whether abortion access should be curtailed in New Mexico boils down to starkly defined principles: Human life begins at conception and should be protected without exceptions. “When I had my baby in September, I’d hold her in my arms and think, ‘She’s a person,’” said Sara, who adds she used to call herself pro-choice. “In my opinion, it’s not just a woman’s body. It’s also the body of the living being who’s inside her.”

Josue chimed in, saying that he believes public funding for Planned Parenthood should be cut and that contraception is harmful to women’s health. (Medical research indicates that hormonal birth control health risks are complex; it may increase risk of breast cancer for some women while also lowering risk for other cancers and health conditions.)

The Maldonados were among an estimated 200 people assembled yesterday in the Roundhouse rotunda as Allen Sanchez, executive director of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops, presided over a lineup of speakers.

Anti-abortion protesters press legislators (VIDEO)

It was snowing and cold on Tuesday around lunch time at Santa Fe Plaza. Despite the wet weather, a group of anti-abortion demonstrators walked from the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi to the Santa Fe Plaza and finally to the State Capitol Building. Inside the Roundhouse, demonstrators listened to advocates encourage lawmakers to pass legislation related to abortion. The speakers included Rep. Kelly Fajardo, R-Belen, House Majority whip Alonzo Baldonado, R-Los Lunas and Sen. William Sharer, R-Farmington.