On Tuesday, the Alamogordo City Commission held a special meeting to discuss two pro-life resolutions. One, sponsored by City Commissioner Karl Melton of District 3, declared Alamogordo a sanctuary city for the unborn. Another that was said only to be brought forth as a weaker resolution brought forth by Mayor Susan Payne also was considered.
Melton’s resolution was introduced following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson ruling, which sent the abortion question back to the states by overturning the archaic 1973 pro-abortion Roe v. Wade decision. Because New Mexico allows abortion up-to-birth, the resolution was meant to tell the abortion industry it is not welcome in Alamogordo to kill children in the city. Otero County recently passed a similar resolution declaring itself a pro-life sanctuary.
“I have brought forward Resolution 2022-38 because my constituents are worried Alamogordo has no resolution or ordinance on the books protecting unborn life. This measure not only affirms life from conception to natural death, but it declares Alamogordo a Sanctuary City for the Unborn,” said Melton.
“As far as I see it, if we do nothing, it is not a question of if but when a facility opens up in Alamogordo. We as a commission will be forced to take action later if we do not take it tonight,” Melton continued. “We can decide to be proactive and announce our opposition to any abortion business moving in city limits tonight, or we can procrastinate, decide to kick the can down the road, and only discuss options after Planned Parenthood has already made its plans to move. These realities are why this resolution is so important today. Our community is fervently pro-life.”
Many residents showed up to support Melton’s resolution, with pro-life testimony outweighing anti-life sentiments made. An out-of-state-funded dark money group worked to spam commissioners’ inboxes with opposition to the resolution from out of the city and state. However, pro-life testimony outnumbered the efforts of the extremist group.
“My prayer for everyone in this room and in the comment section online is that you receive the consequence and experience of your words you speak in favor for concerning the unborn,” said resident Ben Luna.
Another woman said, “God has made every one of us for a purpose, and each of the babies that [do] not survive and is aborted was made for a purpose.” She added, “It’s wrong to take the life of that child away.”
County Commissioner Couy Griffin showed up to the meeting, saying, “Life is the greatest gift that God has ever given us.” Griffin said, “You all have a great honor tonight to stand for life, to defend life, and protect life. But I would stand in great fear if I was a vote taht supported taking life because, again, life is not ours to take. That life is God-orchestrated, God-designed, and God-breathed.”
Piñon Post’s John Block, the nominee for House District 51, said, “By boldly declaring our city a sanctuary for the unborn, you are not just making an important and necessary statement; you are declaring that those who wish to shed innocent blood are not welcome in our city and do not stand with the values our fervently pro-life community believes in.”
During the discussion among the commissioners on the resolution, Mayor Susan Payne said, “The biggest thing about this resolution for me, both of these resolutions — first of all, let me make it clear. I brought forth the second resolution as an alternative to the first resolution.”
“This is a very controversial subject, and I’m going to be honest with you. It might make some people mad at me, and you know what? If you can’t respect the way I feel, that’s kinda your deal. But this is a very controversial subject, and one I have said all along I did not believe was a function of city government. And I still believe that. I believe that very strongly,” Payne said.
“I’m not gonna like pander to anybody,” claiming, “I am personally pro-life…. But more than pro-life, I am pro-supporting women.” Payne concluded, “I do not believe this is a function of city government, and I agree with the notion that we have so many things to worry about in this city.”
“Quite frankly, this is not an issue right now.”
Melton replied, “I also have my faith, but when I introduced my resolution, my reason for bringing it forward had nothing to do with my faith; I didn’t invoke religion. Quite simply, I brought it forward because I have heard from constituents that this is what they want, and I am in this role to represent them.” Melton added, “A lot of the controversial issues are the issues that are worth fighting for.”
The Commission passed the sanctuary city for the unborn resolution on a vote of 5-2, with Mayor Payne and Commissioner Sharon McDonald voting against it, while Commissioners Melton, Nick Paul, Stephen Burnett, Josh Rardin, and Mayor Pro-Tem Dusty Wright supported it. Payne’s resolution, merely to support the County’s efforts, was passed by a vote of 6-1, with McDonald being the lone vote against. Payne voted for her own resolution despite claiming it was not a “function of city government.”
To thank the five brave commissioners who supported the sanctuary city for the unborn resolution, you can find their email addresses below: