A panel of state lawmakers spent five hours Sunday hearing and debating two bills that would have restricted abortion access in New Mexico before tabling them on party lines. At one point, state Rep. Bob Wooley, R-Roswell, bemoaned the predictability of the situation. “I was going to ask some questions, but it’s futile,” he said to the sponsors of a bill to ban abortions after 20 or more weeks of pregnancy. “We all know how this committee is going to vote. This bill is going to die on a 3-2 vote.”
On controversial abortion bills, Democratic legislators have had a tendency this year to hear prolonged, passionate testimonies and debates—then quickly vote to table the bills. That happened again Thursday afternoon, when the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee devoted two hours to a controversial bill on what anti-abortion advocates call “born alive” infants. Several people testified in both support and opposition to the bill. Soon, Reps. Bob Wooley and Monica Youngblood, Republicans from Roswell and Albuquerque, respectively, asked lengthy questions of the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Rod Montoya, R-Farmington.
—We decided to add Odds and Ends to the regular rotation here at NM Political Report. As the hectic legislative session ends, we will be transitioning from fewer short, process stories towards more in depth, researched stories. For example, our look at our piece on how behavioral health budget cuts could impact small providers or on concerns medical marijuana providers have about new transparency rules. While we are back to creating longer, researched and informative pieces taking angles that other outlets cannot or have not done, we still feel like an Odds and Ends piece in the evening is helpful. There are topics that we can’t quite make into a full-fledged story but are still important enough to not disappear into the ether of Twitter or Facebook.