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Republican Senate candidate speaks at D.C. March for Life

New Mexico anti-abortion advocate and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Elisa Martinez shared the same stage with President Donald Trump at the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

Martinez delivered a two-minute address at the march, which is held at the nation’s capital every year on the anniversary week of the 1973 Supreme Court Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. This is the first year a sitting president has attended the event.

“For the pro-life movement, this is a historic occasion,” she said in a phone interview with the Journal on the way to the march. “The president, just by his record, is the most pro-life president we’ve ever had. It’s fitting to have him attend the march and give some remarks.”

This isn’t the first March for Life Martinez has attended, but it was the first time she had been asked to give an address. Martinez said she was asked to speak at the event in part for leading the effort last year in New Mexico to defeat House Bill 51 in the Legislature as the leader of New Mexico Alliance for Life. The Legislature voted against the measure that would have repealed the state’s 1969 anti-abortion law, which makes it a crime to end a woman’s pregnancy, except in certain circumstances, such as rape.

UDALL CRITICIZES CHANGES IN WATER RULES: U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., is critical of a decision by the Trump administration last week that narrows the types of waterways that qualify for federal protection under the half-century-old Clean Water Act.

“Simply put, the Trump administration is endangering the future of clean water in New Mexico, the Southwest and across the country,” the senator said. “The proposed changes would strip Clean Water Act protections from the vast majority of New Mexico’s surface waters, putting drinking and irrigation supplies at further risk. This means more hazardous pollution into open waterways and then into our groundwater, more damaging floods following rains, and more destruction of habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife we treasure.”

The changes to the clean water rule have long been sought by builders, oil and gas developers, farmers and others. But environmental groups and public-health advocates say the rollback will allow businesses to dump pollutants into newly federally unprotected waterways and fill in some wetlands, threatening public water supplies downstream and harming wildlife and habitat.

“Every one of us depends on clean water to survive, and this short-sighted, special-interest driven policy is a direct threat to both public health and wildlife – at the same time that this administration is ignoring climate change and rampant habitat destruction,” Udall said.

HAALAND OBSERVES DAY OF SERVICE: U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland spent the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. last Monday by observing a day of service in partnership with local nonprofit ABQ Involved. She and her team worked on a renovation project at SAFE House Shelter and Family Empowerment, a shelter for women and families escaping domestic violence.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in the power of community to overcome our toughest challenges,” the Democratic representative said. “This holiday is meant to be a day ‘on’ not a day ‘off.’ SAFE House provides a critical service to women and families escaping the cycle of violence – in the spirit of Dr. King we came together to help them renovate their space.”

The service project came after Haaland attended the New Mexico Black History Month Organizing Committee’s Commemorative Breakfast, where they honored King with scholarship presentations to New Mexico students and uplifted the community through gospel music.

Scott Turner: sturner@abqjournal.com

 


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