Although the Supreme Court gave states the option to restrict abortion in the second and third trimesters, abortion is essentially legal in the United States at any point in a mother’s pregnancy, even into the third trimester thanks to Roe v. Wade.
Despite many states having restricted abortion past the second trimester, New Mexico is one of the only states to have zero restrictions on abortion, designating the state in the Southwest to be called “The Late-Term Abortion Capital of the US.”
Interestingly enough, New Mexico is even more liberal on abortion than neighboring Colorado, which according to the Guttmacher Institute, has three major abortion restrictions. In Colorado, insurance companies do not cover abortions for public employees and by law abortion is only publicly funded in cases of rape, incest, or endangerment to the life of the mother. Additionally, a parent must be notified before an abortion can be performed on a minor. None of these provisions exist in New Mexico and there are no limits on how far along an abortion can take place. Thus, in New Mexico, late-term abortions can and do legally occur, even when the child is completely viable.
Nationwide, late-term abortions are seemingly infrequent, as 43 states prohibit abortions past a certain gestational age, usually before the start of the third trimester. Although Planned Parenthood claims 99 % of abortions occur before 21 weeks, 1% of abortions are still carried out in the third trimester. Thus, about 18,000 late-term abortions are performed each year in the United States.
As a PragerU video recently pointed out, Planned Parenthood is in the business of deceiving the public about how frequently it provides abortions. While Planned Parenthood has claimed on numerous occasions abortions make up only 3% of the services they provide, this is clearly false as Lila Rose, founder of Live Action, pointed out. By counting each individual service required before an abortion separately, Planned Parenthood is able to convince the public the vast majority of their services do not include aborting babies.
When looking at the total percentage of late-term abortions in New Mexico, however, it is much higher than the national average. The New Mexico Department of Health found in their 2016 annual report approximately 3% of all abortions performed within the State were considered to be late-term. This number is extremely misleading, however, due to the fact the DOH only counts New Mexico residents — who only make up 80% of all abortions performed in the State. This statistic is important due to the significant influx of women coming from other states, where there are greater restrictions imposed on abortion clinics and where late-term abortions are illegal.
Not only does New Mexico place absolutely no restrictions on when a woman can abort her child, New Mexico is also one of 15 states which uses state tax dollars to fund abortions through Medicaid.
According to Project Defending Life, New Mexican taxpayers have spent over $1.1 million in 2011 alone to fund a grand total of 1,786 abortions. Although Medicaid is supposed to cover abortions only when it is “medically necessary,” in the eyes of abortion facilities and the legislature, “medically necessary” means all abortions. Furthermore, of the 649 abortions New Mexican taxpayers paid for in 2012, 598 were considered to be late-term, making up 92% of all publicly funded abortions which occured that year.
Yet even with the massive amount of taxpayer dollars being used to fund New Mexico’s abortion industry, there is a huge lack of oversight. According to multiple reports, the clinics are never inspected, causing the actual abortion procedures to be mismanaged. Such lack of management may have caused the death of a 23-year-old woman in February of 2017 who was undergoing a late-term abortion when she died.
Although the New Mexico Medical Board has recently agreed to open an investigation into the incident, there were a series of botched abortions at several late-term abortion clinics in New Mexico between 2008 and 2009, as illustrated by eight different 9-1-1 recordings. As a result of these botched abortions, several women had multiple severe and life-threatening complications, including hemorrhaging, chest pain, numbness, and multiple seizures, as well as heavy and uncontrollable bleeding.
New Mexico’s abortion policy is so laissez faire that, despite making up only 0.5% of all abortions in the United States, the Southwestern state has had an endless supply of abortion-related atrocities, even well-beyond the atrocity of providing abortions in the first place.
There are no restrictions in the “Land of Enchantment;” girls under the age of 18 can freely abort their children without parental permission and those with Medicaid can get a taxpayer-funded abortion for free. Although this is not solely the case of New Mexico, its abortion industry is hardly regulated at all, resulting in massive life-threatening health complications to pregnant women and in one known case, even death.
When will the Left’s relentless opposition to any and all abortion restrictions end? If the pro-choice community sincerely believes abortion is inevitable and will forever remain legal, should they not ensure the practice is performed safely?
As a native of New Mexico, the fact taxpayers are funding abortions and the huge lack of oversight is greatly concerning to me. I, as a pro-lifer, want to ensure the safety of the mother just as much as I wish the child would survive and be in a loving home.