Related Story: “New Mexico legislators want to repeal state’s abortion ban“
GALLUP (January 07, 2019) – I, the Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Gallup, voice my strong opposition to a proposed bill aimed at repealing a New Mexico state law criminalizing abortion.
While the law is currently not enforced due to federal legalization of abortion through the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe V. Wade, I nevertheless urge opposition to any bills that would loosen abortion restrictions.
The Governor has expressed concern that the current law would “punish women”, should Roe vs. Wade ever be overturned, and I am in agreement that criminalization of abortion should not target women, many of whom find themselves in personally or financially dire circumstances. But abortion also targets and victimizes another deeply vulnerable population: unborn children and future generations. Our state must strive to protect and uphold the dignity of all peoples, from conception to natural death, and any effort to permit the killing of unborn children violates the sanctity of every human person, mother and child.
New Mexico consistently ranks low or last among other states in education results, economic opportunities, poverty, and childhood health. An abortion will not fix the obstacles many women and families face, such as economic instability, access to education, and a higher standard of living. I encourage our legislators to turn their efforts away from promoting abortion, and instead to policies and legislation which would promote the prosperity of human life at all stages of development.
I also condemn any clauses or measures that would punish doctors and health care workers for refusing to participate in abortion procedures or other medical services that violate their beliefs, religious or otherwise.
As Pope St. John Paul II says:
‘Even in the midst of difficulties and uncertainties, every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end, and can affirm the right of every human being to have this primary good respected to the highest degree. Upon the recognition of this right, every human community and the political community itself are founded.’
I encourage readers of this letter to make their voices heard on this issue by contacting their legislator at this link.
I remain sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Rev. James S. Wall
Bishop of the Diocese of Gallup