During a press conference outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., the City of Eunice in Lea County, New Mexico, announced a new lawsuit against the state’s Democrat Attorney General Raúl Torrez and Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
The lawsuit revolves around the governor’s recent signing of H.B. 7, preempting local governments from enacting pro-life laws that restrict abortion. It also comes as the state Supreme Court is set to rule on another case spurred by a lawsuit from Torrez regarding local governments and the Comstock Act. This Act relates to interstate commerce, prohibiting obscene materials from the passage between state lines.
“Federal law imposes criminal liability on every person who ships or receives abortion pills or abortion-related paraphernalia through the mail, an express service, a common carrier, or an interactive computer service,” the City of Eunice wrote in the lawsuit.
“These federal criminal prohibitions apply in every state, including states where abortion remains legal, and anyone who violates 18 U.S.C. §§ 1461 and 1462 is subject to five years’ imprisonment for a first violation and ten years’ imprisonment for each subsequent violation. The shipment or receipt of abortion drugs or abortion-related equipment is also a predicate offense under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968, which subjects abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood- and each of their employees, volunteers, and donors -to civil and criminal liability under federal RICO.”
The City of Eunice passed an ordinance mandating abortion facilities comply with U.S. law, which trumps state laws.
“The Attorney General of New Mexico has sued other cities and counties that have enacted similar ordinances on the supposed ground that the Constitution of New Mexico confers a state-law right to act in violation of a federal criminal statute. And the New Mexico legislature recently enacted House Bill 7, which purports to confer a state-law right to ‘access or provide reproductive health care … within the medical standard of care’ and empowers the Attorney General to sue local jurisdictions that infringe this newly created state-law right.”
On the Supreme Court steps, local Eunice officials, including Mayor Billy Hobbs, state Sen. David Gallegos, and Councilwoman Erica Jones, Councilman Chris Hanie, were joined by pro-life leadersEthel Maharg of the Right to Life Committee of New Mexico, Southwest Coalition for Life’s Mark Cavaliere, Lea County Right to Life’s Lori Bova, Dr. Michael New of the Catholic University of New Mexico, Sister Dede Byrne, Mark Lee Dickson of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative, GraceWay Baptist Church Pastor Brad Wells, and others. A live stream of the press conference can be seen here.
“Our attorney is providing local counsel for Eunice, and we will be bringing you updates as the case proceeds,” wrote the pro-life legal group Abortion On Trial, referencing attorney Mike Seibel.
In an exclusive interview, Seibel told the Piñon Post, “The biggest testimony for New Mexico conservatives is they are willing to dig in and fight for what they believe is morally right,” adding, “The people are doing this, and I’m proud of them.”