Women deserve better


Why does the GOP want to forbid New Mexico women from making their own medical decisions?

I understand the majority’s opposition to the decision, but taking away reproductive freedoms makes even the far right’s goals harder to achieve.

The GOP has repeatedly voted against funding that helps regular people, even trying to get rid of Social Security and Medicare. Combine that with the fact that unintended pregnancies are increasingly concentrated among low-income women, which means that taking away women’s reproductive freedom will cause a huge rise in safety-net needs.

Consider the women who will suffer disability or death from being forced to give birth. (The medical community agrees that statistically, a woman is 14 times more likely to die giving birth than in having a legal, first trimester abortion.)

Consider women who cannot receive cancer treatments that might damage the fetus.

Consider women who have to leave the workforce to care for an infant.

Consider the increase in unwanted, possibly abused, children or outright orphans who will need care from the state.

The GOP always supports corporate power, but corporations are growing very skittish about locating in states that outlaw abortion. OB-GYN specialists are already beginning to leave states where laws restricting health care can be both confusing and deadly.

The most confusing thing is that the people who are most against a woman’s right to choose also want to ban safe and effective contraception, which indicates that their hostility has little to do with saving all the little fetuses.

In 2009, Colorado’s Family Planning Initiative began furnishing low-cost or free contraceptives to the population. The program cut both teen births and teen abortions by about 50 percent. It also raised high school graduation rates by 12 percent, and it saved the state nearly $70 million in public assistance costs.

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on the claim that the Constitution does not grant U.S. citizens the right to privacy. In denying the right to privacy, the Supreme Court has opened up “a whole box of pandoras.”

I don’t think anyone will like what comes slithering out.


Laura Sanchez, Los Lunas


Letter to Los Lunas Village Council members


Honorable village council members:

The New Mexico Acequia Commission strongly opposes Niagara Bottle Company’s request for increasing their water intake from 285 acre-feet per year to 700 acre-feet in Los Lunas for the following reasons:

  • (In July) for the first time in over 40 years our mighty Rio Grande went dry in the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District. This shows the dire straits that our communities and our farmers and ranchers in Valencia County are in.
  • Valencia County farms and ranches are the backbone of their communities economy, food chain, and traditions. With water in high demand, we should be supporting those who have proven to be stewards of the land, and pillars of the community in this time of drought.
  • Our senior water rights users, our culture, our local economy, and our language are part of the backbone of this state and must be protected. This requested increase threatens a way of life that has sustained generations of families for hundreds of years.
  • Research at NMSU has proven that acequias can help with climate change. It would be irresponsible to sever these systems from the land by drying them out for a luxury development that serves only a certain few. Acequias are extensions of the river, creating greenbelts that embrace our communities while providing habitat for wildlife and recharge to the aquifers.

The New Mexico Acequia Commission understands that Niagara’s request could increase their need for a work force in Valencia County. Still, we must balance responsible water allocation to preserve our ecosystems, celebrate our culture, and allow our traditional communities to thrive and survive.

As farmers are not receiving their normal allotted amount of water, we can not be giving free rein to an  out of state corporation.


Ralph Vigil II, Chairman of the New Mexico Acequia Commission

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