Clovis Pro-life Ordinance Halted by Republican Politicians.
Clovis New Mexico City Council just voted to halt citizens’ efforts to pass an ordinance "Requiring Abortion Providers in the City of Clovis to Comply with Federal Law." This came as no surprise after learning that not only did Clovis’ Mayor Mike Morris grant meetings with pro-abortion groups like New Mexico Rising in the days leading up to the hearing, but New Mexico Republican Representatives also chose to vocally oppose the effort despite claiming to be prolife leaders in the state.
The hearing took place Thursday November 3rd and was available to stream on the city’s website. The nearly 3 hours of testimony and questioning can only be described as a pointless skit being played out for appearance alone. It was apparent to all witnessing both in person and online that this council and mayor wanted to say all the right things without actually having to do the right thing.
The beginning of the hearing included a letter written by Republican Representative Rod Montoya being read aloud. That letter was riddled with financial fear mongering and a blatant mischaracterization of Abortion on Trial’s senior counsel’s position on the proposed ordinance. Not only did Representative Montoya misrepresent pro-life attorney’s position on this ordinance, he also actively assisted the pro-abortion community with constructing argument to oppose this life saving initiative if proposed in other cities.
The council heard testimony from those both for and against the ordinance. But not in equal measure. Mayor Morris told the crowd 5 people from both sides would get 3 minutes each to argue for or against the proposal. The council required those speaking to be local residents of Clovis. Among those arguing for the ordinance was Mark Lee Dickson, a prolife advocate and director of Right to Life of East Texas. Mr. Dickson had recently rented a property in Clovis and is now a resident, so the mayor allowed his testimony though seemed reluctant to do so. Mr. Dickson urged the council to pass the ordinance and explained how Texas women are turning to New Mexico for abortion and he would do everything in his power to “protect Texas lives in state of New Mexico”.
The hearing continued with testimony from opposition, 5 people, all of whom went well over their allotted 3 minutes, as well as a number of others who spoke at the mayor’s request. Those people included a physician and 2 local Republican representatives. All of whom argued against the current sanctuary city for the unborn effort and asked the council not to pass what’s been proposed.
Clovis Representative Martin Zamora spoke at Mayor Morris’ request and was arguing caution, suggesting Clovis citizens couldn’t handle the financial toll this ordinance could potentially risk. He stated “We will find ourselves in court and the people of this community will foot the bill. There are people all over this community struggling to put food on the table today.”
Knowing the risk and having a desire to help the people of Clovis who are obviously supportive of this effort, Mark Lee Dickson spoke up to say he would cover the costs that the city may incur as a result of passing the ordinance. His charitable offer of a solution to the financial risk concern was met with Mayor Morris kicking him out of the hearing before proceeding to engage in demeaning conversation about him with Representative Zamora.
The hearing ended with the council voting 7-1 to table the ordinance. Which as those experienced in these sorts of efforts know is simply a politically safe way of killing the proposal.
“For those who say the ordinance was not defeated only delayed, I have seen this happen many times before and do believe this ordinance to be dead in this situation.” Said Mark Lee Dickson in a Facebook post recapping the hearing. “Based on information which I have which is not public I wholeheartedly stand by that assessment. The entire meeting was staged, an elaborate puppet-show orchestrated to allow the City Commission to save face by not passing the ordinance.”
After the meeting Mayor Morris, who had previously asked Abortion on Trial’s attorney to get involved, accused AOT senior counsel Mike Seibel of “buffaloing” the citizens of Clovis by supporting this ordinance. Which was odd considering Mr. Seibel wasn’t even allowed in the room but was standing outside of the hearing in the cold with countless other supporters of the ordinance. Mayor Morris also claimed Mr. Seibel threatened to “send dead babies to his office” which is an egregious and patently false allegation that is frankly too absurd to be taken seriously.
“Mayor Morris should know his meetings with abortion supporting groups, stopping prolife ordinances, and perpetuating false claims about New Mexico’s leading prolife attorney will do nothing to aid his current claim of being a prolife leader of faith.” Said Executive Director of Abortion on Trial, Jamie Jeffries. “Clovis should be afraid for their women now more than ever. Trauma, injuries, and even death from abortion are absolutely coming to Clovis and Mayor Morris and the city council just gave them a direct path.”
The large majority of citizens of Clovis supported this effort, prolife attorneys supported this effort, and prolife people offered to cover the cost of passing this effort, but Mayor Morris and the council still chose not to pass it. Viewers of the hearing, such as New Mexico resident Christina Garza took to social media vocalizing their disappointment about the results of the hearing and the actions from Mayor Morris and Representative Montoya saying “What happened last night in Clovis, in my opinion, was an unprovoked and uncalled for attack by both the Mayor of Clovis & Representative Rod Montoya. They both failed the Pro-Life community. “
Abortion On Trial stands in support of legal efforts to protect women and children from abortion and are prepared to help the women of Clovis who will inevitably be harmed by this decision.
We want to extend a sincere thank you to Clovis city council member, David Bryant, for being the only person on the council to vote against tabling this ordinance.