New Mexico Alliance for Life (NMAFL) has called for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate claims of illegal aborted baby body part trafficking by the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO), the abortion center where some UNM abortionists work. UNM abortionists also do rounds at a Planned Parenthood facility.
Statute of Limitations Running Out
Attorney General Hector Balderas has received numerous criminal referrals from a congressional committee, yet NMAFL says no significant action has been taken. According to NMAFL Director Elisa Martinez, Balderas “has allowed 83 claims to expire and has yet to make any indictments in the face of clear evidence of systemic criminal offenses.” NMAFL sees no evidence of an active investigation, despite recent reports that the attorney general is investigating charges. At a press conference, Martinez revealed that Balderas is allowing the statute of limitations run out on possible charges without so much as investigating their veracity.
In late May, Martinez reported:
Five years ago today, the University of New Mexico unlawfully ordered the brains of a seven-month aborted baby to dissect with summer camp students. Dr. Paul Roth, Chancellor of the UNM Health Science Center, has admitted that UNM obtained these brains, which were never used for research.
There is ample evidence that UNM has broken state law by collecting these aborted baby parts without lawful consent from the mothers of the children. Yet, Attorney General Hector Balderas refuses to do the basic duty of his office and investigate what’s really going on behind the taxpayer-funded university’s closed doors.
Hundreds of Criminal Offenses Alleged
Martinez says this lack of investigation is actually “malpractice.” At the press conference, Martinez detailed the multiple concerns her organization has with Balderas’ inaction on the congressional referrals. She said:
[This] month, it will be a year since Attorney General Hector Balderas received a 300-page congressional criminal referral – this criminal referral prepared by a team of seasoned, federal prosecutors contains a mountain of evidence. Eleven months later to the day, the Attorney General has taken no investigatory action to indict these criminal offenses.
This criminal referral from Congress contains hundreds of documents — some obtained by congressional subpoena, some submitted by New Mexico Alliance for Life (which we provided) — these documents include policies, procedures, protocols, and a detailed logbook from UNM researchers called the “Procurement Notes.”
In those notes, Martinez claims, there were 452 criminal offenses. Martinez said these include violations of the most egregious sort: “where an infants body was harvested and parts were collected by UNM researchers without a lawful consent to do so from 10 weeks on up to 35 weeks — nearly 9 months.” NMAFL notes that both UNM and Southwestern Women’s Options failed to produce legally required consent forms for these body parts. “These women were not given a right to choose; their right to choose was violated,” Martinez said.
Women Not Informed, Denied Justice
Under New Mexico law, the Maternal Fetal and Infant Experimentation Act (MFIEA) requires a six-point consent process for fetal tissue donation. Additionally, the Jonathan Spradling Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act prohibits the donation of fetal tissue for research. Both laws were cited in the Congressional committee’s referrals.
Violations of the Spradling Act are third-degree felonies punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and/or six years in prison. The statute of limitations on such a crime is five years, which in the case of the procured brains is May 24, 2017.
In deposition testimony, a UNM-trained Southwestern Women’s Options abortionist admitted she had never obtained consent from a patient at Southwestern to make a fetal tissue donation nor was familiar with the consent form allegedly used at the abortion center. A different woman who went to SWO for an abortion sued the center late last year, claiming that she was never informed that it would send her child’s body parts to UNM.
Martinez’s insistence that the attorney general is not actively investigating these cases comes in part from her organization’s work with Jessica Duran. Duran went to SWO for an abortion and claims she was not told that her consent form would allow her preborn baby’s remains to be used however SWO chose (which, in many cases, included sending the baby’s remains to UNM). Duran has sued UNM, saying in an Albuquerque paper that she found it “devastating” that her child was “used as a science project.” Duran, in a press conference with NMAFL at the time she filed the suit, said:
The very people who advertise they offer women ‘the right to choose’ at Southwestern Women’s Options violated my right to choose. I think at that moment, had they informed me I would have snapped that this is a life inside of me, a valuable life,” Duran said. “I think I would have, no, I know I would have walked right out of that clinic.
At Duran’s press conference, Martinez said,
By the reckless negligence of Southwestern Women’s options doctors, in violating a women’s right to informed consent in such a serious matter, a human life that would otherwise be here today has been ended. Jessica and the countless women like her must live with this knowledge every day. To find out their baby’s body was used for a research project — after the fact, without their consent, only serves to retraumatize many of these women.
It’s for these reasons and more that Martinez asserts: “Each week that goes by, Balderas allows criminal complaints to expire and women are denied justice. Balderas doesn’t care about women, so it is time for the state to appoint a special prosecutor to do his job for him.”
Evidence of Investigation Lacking
While Balderas is reportedly telling other groups that he is investigating, NMAFL — who worked with the congressional committee that made the referrals — is calling the attorney general’s bluff. Martinez told Live Action News:
If Balderas was truly investigating the criminal referrals he received from Congress, then he would have contacted the parties involved here in New Mexico. We know that has yet to happen. In fact, when I personally attempted to set up meetings with his offices, myself, and Jessica Duran, our requests have been postponed indefinitely. Ms. Duran’s medical records, affidavit, and lawsuit are the basis for the second criminal referral issued by Congress. The fact that Balderas’ office has yet to contact any of these parties indicates this is neither a thorough nor an urgent investigation, since it has been nearly a year that he received the first criminal referral, and each day that passes claims continue to expire under his watch.
The [Congressional] Panel cited documents submitted by NMAFL, Ms. Duran, and New Mexico legislators. We have offered to meet with his office to provide information and documents critical to this investigation, but our requests for a meeting have been postponed indefinitely by the Attorney General’s office.
Thus, while Balderas may attempt to placate other groups, Martinez says, he has remained unresponsive to those who need to be contacted in order to show his aggressive pursuit of justice.
It is for these reasons NMAFL insists that the only way to serve justice to these women and the children who were victimized is for the state to appoint a special prosecutor to respond to the numerous criminal referrals. Martinez notes that the silence of Balderas has allowed the statute of limitations to expire. This, she says, will allow any potentially guilty parties to get away with their crimes without consequence.
The people of New Mexico deserve a thorough investigation, NMAFL asserts, and a special prosecutor may be the only way that will happen.