COMMENTARY: Parent rights are paramount to child welfare success

July 11, 2023

It’s been 90 days since the end of the legislative session and over a hundred bills were signed into law by Governor Lujan Grisham are now going into effect.  The most egregious are HB 7 and SB 397 which force public school personnel to help underage children get gender-altering services, such as hormone blockers, gender reassignment surgery, psycho-tropic medications, and abortion services. These laws simultaneously may prevent public school employees from informing parents when their children are obtaining these services.  In response to these horrible laws, a grassroots effort is underway to bring these bills for a referendum vote and allow New Mexican voters to have a direct say in determining whether these laws should continue.  

HB 7, as the advocates would claim, is designed to prevent discrimination or interference of anyone seeking “gender affirming care” or “abortion care.” The reality, however, is that these bills are so poorly and vaguely written that if your son or daughter were to approach a teacher at their local middle school and request help finding “gender affirming care,” the teacher is not only required to direct them to those services, but PED is interpreting HB7 to explicitly prohibit teachers from notifying their parents.

Republican legislators strongly opposed this ill-advised bill during the last session.  House Republican members offered an amendment that would have made the provisions of HB 7 only apply to persons 18 years of age or older, thus protecting the rights of parents to decide what is best for their underage children.  Unfortunately, this amendment was rejected by the progressive Democrat majority.

Citizens, outraged by this gross overreach by the Santa Fe ruling class, are determined to try and stop this attack on their rights through the referendum process (which is provided for in the New Mexico Constitution).  Media silence aside, this effort has been overwhelmingly successful as tens-of-thousands of New Mexicans have signed referendum petitions across the state to place these bills on the ballot for voters to decide.  Yet, even as the public loudly rejects this undermining of parental rights, our Secretary of State is aggressively blocking their efforts.

I and other Republicans are moving forward with an effort to advise parents on how to inform schools officials of their demands when it comes to their children’s welfare.  Republicans are advocating that every parent of a minor child in New Mexico’s public schools sign and send a letter to their school’s administration requiring that they be notified before any gender ideology information, gender altering services, hormone blockers, psychotropic medications or abortion services are provided to their child.  The recommended form letter has already been reviewed by lawyers who are ready and willing to engage on this important issue.

Parents have put up with a lot over the last few years but take away their right to protect the health and safety of their kids, and it is clear that New Mexicans of all ethnic, social, and political persuasions have had enough. The nonstop and aggressive march of progressive social policies in New Mexico has finally struck a nerve.  The public has largely been silenced as MLG and progressive legislators have eroded their constitutional rights. The free flow of illegal drugs is at epidemic levels.  Violent criminals are released back onto the streets without any regard for public safety. The final straw is this destructive attack on New Mexico families.  New Mexico parents can take a stand by sending the letter to their public school administrator demanding to be notified of issues affecting their children. A copy of the letter/form can be found at

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