The Piñon Post learned Friday that Republican Rep. Phelps Anderson (Chaves, Lea & Roosevelt) who voted for an abortion up-to-birth and infanticide bill in a Health and Human Services Committee hearing last week, changed his party affiliation to “Declined to State” after getting blowback.
Republican Leader Jim Townsend said, “I received a letter from him, and I have had a conversation with him, and he has left the Republican Party.”
The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that a text message from Anderson read, “Sorry,” adding, “Not today as I have done enough.”
During the committee hearing, Rep. Anderson claimed he understood concerns health care providers had about the bill regarding conscience rights, however, he voted to advance the measure anyway.
After the vote, the Piñon Post send a letter asking the Republican Party leadership in the House of Representatives to hold a censure vote on Anderson by this Friday. However, that vote would no longer be necessary, now that Anderson has relinquished his affiliation with the Republican Party–a pro-life party.
The renunciation by Rep. Anderson leaves his memberships on the Health and Appropriations & Finance committees in jeopardy, as the House Republicans will want Republicans on committees, especially influential committees like Appropriations and Finance.
Rep. Anderson previously refused to comment on his vote, telling the Santa Fe New Mexican, “I think It’s best that I just leave that one alone now.”
The anti-life bill, H.B. 7, advanced from the Health and Human Services Committee on a vote of 8-3 and subsequently passed the House Judiciary Committee. It is unclear how Rep. Anderson will vote on the bill when it reaches the House floor.