On Monday, liberal New Mexico paper, the Santa Fe New Mexican, applauded New Mexico state Rep. Phelps Anderson (R-Chaves, Lea, and Roosevelt) for his vote with Democrats in the House Health and Human Services Committee to approve an abortion up-to-birth and infanticide bill, H.B. 7, which would strip away critical life-saving protections for mothers, babies, and health care workers.
Milan Simonich, the columnist who wrote the fluff piece, lauded Anderson as “reserved, courteous and almost averse to publicity.”
When asking Anderson about his vote, which was a betrayal to the Republican Party, Anderson simply said, “I think it’s going to be best if I leave that alone.”
“[Anderson] displayed no rancor or even annoyance. He just didn’t want to talk about a decision that put him at odds with other Republicans and cast him in a harsh light on social media,” wrote Simonich.
He also lauded Anderson’s father, Robert Anderson, of which the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Business is named, and claimed Anderson is “independent” like his dad, who Simonich noted gave money from his oil fortune to support “environmental causes.”
“Phelps Anderson might be independent enough to argue against an anti-abortion law that does nothing except take up space in the code book,” said Simonich, adding that Anderson may face opposition within the Republican Party.
He concluded the article by noting how “polite” Anderson is, despite his vote with far-left Democrats for an abortion up-to-birth and infanticide bill.
However, the people of Roswell, who are very pro-life, likely do not have the same admiration as Simonich for Anderson’s supposed “polite” demeanor. To many, the action by Anderson to vote in favor of such an anti-life bill is by no means “polite” or “courteous,” as the liberal Santa Fe newspaper columnist would like to portray him.
The Piñon Post has sent a letter to the Republican House leadership (Leader Jim Townsend (R-Artesia), Whip Rod Montoya (R-Farmington), and Caucus Chair Rebecca Dow (R-Truth or Consequences), requesting a caucus vote to censure Anderson for his anti-life action. The leaders have until Friday. February 5th, 2020 to hold the vote, or the Piñon Post will organize the tens of thousands of pro-life readers to demand Anderson’s resignation and recruit a strong primary challenger.
Here is what Anderson said during the January 27, 2020 committee hearing, as he spoke to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D-Doña Ana):
“It is of my belief that if this bill passes, nothing changes.”
“If nothing changes, why then did I in the last 24 to 48 hours receive literally thousands of forms of communication, largely urging a ‘no’ vote, but there were… there were… messages urging votes both ways. And I think, well… I read some of them and I think ‘well, this person is in for [a] disappointment because they’re urging a vote that is not going to affect what it is that concerns them in this message’ and that has given me a great deal of consternation about your bill, not because I—I’m just sort of thinking ‘what is it—what are we doing?’ Do we really have a bill here that really doesn’t do anything? Why not? Why not, Representative Ferrary?”
“Because in my opinion, Roe v. Wade made the 1969 New Mexico abortion law unconstitutional. So I think, ‘Okay, Representative Ferrary wants to repeal an unconstitutional law passed in the State of New Mexico fifty-two years ago more or less.’ And I find myself trying to say, ‘Now what part of that do I disagree with?’ I’m pro-life. I don’t—of many of the people who have spoken to me in the last day or two have expressed strong opinions and many of which I share. But I find myself at the end of this debate long day saying ‘I’m not sure that…voting yes or voting no changes anything—and that is very important to me in this vote—and secondly, I think the issues that have been raised are simply not encompassed within this vote.”
“So, with that, Representative Ferrary, I wanted to say the one thing that I appreciate your comment because the one thing I have heard today that I do think might change based on testimony is the conscience clause, and that will make a difference in how I vote on the House floor if go and believe that the conscience clause is not—is being removed. And I kinda think that I believe right now that that’s not what this repeal is doing, but I will—but we will see this bill again. With that, thank you, madame chairman, thank you Representative Ferrary.”
It should be noted that if the bill passes, life-saving protections, such as age restrictions for minors and conscience protections for health care workers will indeed be stripped, leaving an immediate impact on these groups—which Anderson fails to recognize. Also, a doctor would not be required to perform an abortion, leaving women susceptible to sub-par care and a higher probability of being maimed or killed during the abortion. Read more about H.B. 7 and its identical Senate version, S.B. 10, here.