New Mexico resurrects born-alive infant bill for babies who survive abortion

A bill that died in committee last year in New Mexico’s legislature has been resurrected by Republican Representatives Rod Montoya, David Gallegos, Rick Little, and Yvette Herrell. HB 37, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, requires that infants born alive during abortions be treated as the living people they are and mandates care and reporting requirements.

New Mexico Alliance for Life helped draft the bill last year and was on hand for the announcement of the new bill. NMAFL reports:

The NMAFL draft legislation…requires doctors to resuscitate babies – even those born as the result of an abortion – if they show signs of breathing, a heartbeat, clear movement or even a pulsation in the umbilical cord. Rep. Montoya read deposition testimony given to the Select Panel on Infant Lives, where the UNM OB-GYN Dept. chief, Eve Espey stated that “OB-Gyns do not resuscitate neonates,” and that she did not see the “relevance” of the federal Born Alive Protection Act to her practice. It is for these reasons, NM legislators have introduced HB 37. ​

The bill is clear that babies born alive in an abortion must be cared for as living people. According to legislative tracker, Rewire:

A physician attempting to perform an abortion would need to take all medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of a born alive infant. If an attempt to perform an abortion performed in a hospital results in a live birth, the physician attending would need to:

  • provide immediate medical care to the infant;
  • inform the mother of the live birth; and
  • request transfer of the infant to an on-duty resident or emergency care physician who could provide medical care to the infant.

If an attempt to perform an abortion performed in a facility other than a hospital results in a live birth, a physician attending the abortion would need to provide immediate medical care to the infant and call the 911 emergency response system for an emergency transfer of the infant to a hospital that could provide medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment to the infant.


Whoever intentionally performs an overt act that kills a born alive infant would be guilty of a first degree felony. Whoever intentionally attempts to perform an overt act to kill a born alive infant would be guilty of a second degree felony.

While the idea of killing a baby born alive sounds unbelievable to many, the fact is, the University of New Mexico has come under fire for doing just that recently. UNM has been under heavy scrutiny from a congressional panel. Live Action reported last month:

UNM’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Department’s claim-to-fame is its family planning residency, led by Dr. Eve Espey, the chair of the OB/GYN Department. The school trains its medical students in abortion procedures. UNM claims abortion training is an important part of healthcare in our nation. The family planning residency page promises, “The UNM Fellow will become expert at the range of family planning and abortion care….” However, the congressional report from the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives shows that the claimed “expertise” is actually a real issue: it details everything from aborted babies being left to die on the floor without attempts to resuscitate them to a top-level administrator who admits she is unfamiliar with laws related to the practice of abortion.

The Panel’s report notes:

SWWO openly performs a large quantity of abortions into the third trimester, and UNM Hospital will provide abortions beyond 25 weeks where there is “a maternal indication or a fetal indication.” Yet neither UNM nor SWWO appears to have any apparatus or procedure to ensure the survival of infants who show signs of life following extraction from the uterus. This is evident from [Dr. Administrator]’s deposition testimony when she was questioned on this subject. (292, emphasis added)
Despite the fact that SWWO performed abortions in the third trimester, the infant was not even routinely checked for a heartbeat. This was the case even though [Clinic A Dr. #1] admitted there were cases in which an infant exited the womb spontaneously, before it was expected to do so. The testimony of both abortion providers suggests a lack of medical training and of any sense of obligation to be trained to preserve the life of an infant that survives the abortion procedure. It reflects a philosophy that a right to abortion somehow carries a guarantee of the death of the infant expelled during the procedure (296)
It is for reasons such as these that New Mexico legislators filed HB 37.
While the hospital staff may feign ignorance on whether a baby is born alive or not, legislators cry foul and say medical staff that lets a baby in a failed abortion simply die should be held accountable, with both serious criminal and civil penalties. HB 37 is the vehicle that lawmakers Montoya, Gallegos, Little, and Herrell have chosen to steer in order to obtain justice for the innocent victims of abortions who are killed after the abortion fails.

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