Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Here is your official warning: If you are leaving spam in our comments, please know that your comment will be deleted . . . even if it appears in Japanese. 

Spammers are not welcome here.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Call for information

One of the things I want to get ready for the next time around is a database of names, addresses, and especially phone numbers for those who are helping us in this effort. 

It is frustrating to me to have no fast and sure method of contacting people to get the word out to call specific legislators when something is happening. Things happen SO fast during the session; even the difference of a day can have a huge effect on the outcome. Can you imagine if we could have had a bank of callers on the phone Friday morning to Senator McSorley or Senator Lopez (get out of your office!)? We could have been out of SJC in time to be heard on the Senate floor this time. 

So here's my request . . . If you are interested in helping, please email me your information (name, address, email, and probably most importantly, phone numbers) so that I can add you to a database or phone bank. Send it to I have no intention to and promise not to sell or share your information with anyone else except as it relates specifically to our efforts to pass the MISSing Angels Bill in New Mexico. (Though I recognize that none of us live in a bubble, so if you wish to be a part of a similar database to help other states, please let me know.)

We have plans to start meeting every other month to discuss strategy and actions. If you wish to be included in those meetings, please let me know that as well.

Chaos and Sadness

If you haven't already figured it out, the end of a legislative session is absolute chaos for everyone.

My last report was Thursday. We were waiting to be heard in Senate Judiciary. Expecting to go back to Santa Fe on Friday.

I went back on Friday morning, bright and early. SJC was supposed to meet at 9 am. For one reason or another they could not manage to come up with a quorum for the morning meeting. Then they were all called to the Senate floor, at which point I went to Rep. Gardner's office to wait it out. I was told they might meet again if they got a recess. I don't know if they ever did meet again. 

Around 1 p.m. Rep. Gardner came to me and said it was unlikely to get out of SJC. Sen. McSorley didn't want to put it on a consent calendar. The committee was unlikely to meet again or actually get anything done if they did. More political tit-for-tat going on. There was a chance, a very slim chance, that we could get it withdrawn from the committee to the senate floor. It was time for me to go home. There was nothing more I could do; it was all up to Rep. Gardner.

So I went home . . . in tears. We didn't quite let go of all of our hope, but the bill looked all but dead. Rep. Gardner, a bit later in the day, said he was still working on it and that he would work on it until the very end. I know they went late in the night.

This morning I contacted him expecting to hear that nothing had changed. Instead he wrote back that he had gotten it out of SJC (it was withdrawn) and that it was on the Senate floor. It would take a miracle to get it heard, but if it were heard it would be the last item heard before the end of the session.

Thanks to the wonder of technology, we were able to listen to the Senate when they did NOT hear our bill, but instead closed the session without hearing it. (Though if you listened carefully, you could hear someone call out "what about Gardner's bill?" right as they were discussing whether to adjourn. And really they had the few minutes that it would have taken to hear it, someone just pushed for the close instead.)

So I'm sad and sorry to report that we failed again this year. Petty politics got in the way again, but in a different arena this time--the Senate instead of the Governor's office.

We are not going anywhere though! We will be back. Our hope is to get it in next year, but that is tricky. As you may know, sessions in even-numbered years are short. 30 days short. On top of that, bills have to be "germane," meaning they have to be important in the state budget. The only other way to get heard in a short session is to have a message from the governor. I am going to ask Rep. Gardner if calls from citizens can help get a message for the short session. If you can call the governor's office and help with this effort, I will let you know.

Thank you all for your efforts. And a huge thank you to Rep. Keith Gardner; we could not ask for a more dedicated or hard-working sponsor. We'll get it done next time!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Back and Forth and Back Again

Let's see . . . the last few days have been totally chaotic, and that is putting it mildly.

We had been trying to get on the Senate Judiciary Committee agenda. Finally, we got on the agenda on Monday, but we were told that we were too far down on the list to be heard that day. So we stayed home and waited. We were told there *might* be a meeting on Tuesday. There was not a meeting on Tuesday. 

Wednesday we called the SJC office and were told that if we were on the agenda we should show up because they were planning to get through the whole agenda that day. So we went and spent probably 8 hours waiting. We were told to go home by several people, that they wouldn't get to us. In fact, we were told that we were so far down on the list our bill was all but dead.

We were told SJC might meet again today (Thursday). We called this morning. The SJC office was less than helpful on the information factor. We found out they were supposed to meet in the morning, but they didn't have an agenda yet. So we waited. We called again later, they weren't sure if there would be an afternoon meeting. Then we called Rep. Gardner's office and found out a whole lot more info! They were supposed to hear our bill that morning, but she didn't know if that had happened because Gardner had been in committee meetings himself all morning. When she found out, she would call. In the meantime, I got a text from Gardner saying it wasn't heard, but that he was hoping it would be heard this afternoon. So off to Santa Fe we went, again.

We waited. We had sent an email to all of our supporters asking them to call Sen. McSorley and Sen. Martinez to get HB 196 on the consent calendar for Thursday. We were told this morning that there wasn't a consent calendar. Turns out there was a consent calendar. We were not on it. There was even a short agenda for "non-controversial" bills where the debate was limited to 3 minutes a piece. We were told–after the fact–that we were supposed to be on that agenda. We were not on that agenda. As we sat and waited we were hoping to get through. We did not get through today. SJC adjourned at 7 and went to a session in the Senate Chamber. They are not supposed to meet again tonight. 

We are now told that we are supposed to get on the consent agenda tomorrow morning. Since I have almost no faith in what people are telling us these days, I am not about to believe without doubt that we will actually get on the consent agenda tomorrow morning. So, tomorrow (Friday) morning I am off to the Roundhouse again, bright and early! I want to be there in case we are heard, or in case we are on the consent calendar, whichever it may be. I want to be there to see it pass the full Senate. 

So tomorrow could and probably will be another long day in Santa Fe. Despite many nay-sayers and Debbie Downers, we are still optimistic. We trust Rep. Gardner to do everything he can possibly do to get our bill passed and signed this year. 

Fingers and toes crossed everyone. And don't for one minute stop calling your Senators, the Governor, and anyone else you think might help get this done.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Please, please, please help!

In order to get our bill out of committee to the Senate floor before the close of this session on Saturday, we must get HB 196 on the consent calendar of the Senate Judiciary Committee

In order to do that we need to FLOOD the committee chair and vice chair's offices with requests to do just that: Place HB 196 on Thursday's consent calendar for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Please call, email, or both:

Senator Cisco McSorely

Senator Richard Martinez

Thank you so much, we are so close. We need this push to get it through the Senate and to the Governor's desk. 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday, March 16

6 days and counting until the end of the session. CALL, CALL, CALL!

Good news!

We are on the agenda in Judiciary for tomorrow (Monday, March 16). The meeting, as far as we know, will be public. There are a couple of caveats though.

1. The agenda is like two pages long (76 items) for that one committee, and we are waaaaay down on the list (53rd or so).

2. It is very common for meetings to get cancelled on short notice these days. Sometimes it seems as though they are cancelled on the whim of the chair. 

3. There is a chance (I don't know how much of one) we will get on the consent calendar which means there won't be an actual hearing for us, just a Y or N vote. The consent calendar can make the meeting move more quickly, but you have no chance to persuade the committee.

I am actually a bit surprised we are on the agenda, but it is definitely a good thing. Even if we have to get carried over to Tuesday, we still stand a really good chance of getting a Senate vote before the end of the session. My hope is restored.

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Federal Bill: HR 521

HR 5979 has been reintroduced by Mr. King of New York. It is now HR 521 in the 111th Congress. 

It is somewhat abbreviated in comparison to the previous version. It still calls for a standard definition of stillbirth, standard data collection techniques, a national registry, increased research funding, education, and awareness campaigns. It does not encourage more states to pass the MISSing Angels Bill. 

I'll post a link when the govtrack site is back up.

Thursday, March 12

For those who have been watching and waiting for the next committee meeting we finally appear on the agenda. 

Senate Public Affairs Committee will hear us on Thursday, March 12. The meeting starts at 2:30 p.m. in Room 321. There is a chance we will be on the consent calendar, but that doesn't really get us out of that committee any faster. It just means we won't have a hearing.

We are not happy that this has waited so long. We suspect we were intentionally passed over. We are not being heard in the order that we should have been (based upon the description of scheduling we have been given). I am trying to let that go, but it is hard to do. 

What happens next? After SPAC we are assigned to go to Senate Judiciary Committee. As of Thursday, we will have 9 days left in the Regular Session. SJC, which meets MWF, is not actually hearing House bills yet. I don't know if we have enough time to get through. We still have to get through SJC before we can go for a full Senate vote. 

I am nervous and anxious and worried . . . and still ticked off. But trying to get organized and in the right frame of mind to face the committee on Thursday.

We hope to see you there! (I'll be the one with the baby.)

P.S. We are supposed to be 5th on the agenda, but there is no guarantee that we will actually be heard 5th. We might be pushed up or another bill might come from behind. And there is no telling how long the items before us will be debated. Basically, I wish I could give you a more accurate time, but that just isn't possible.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Friday, maybe

The Senate Public Affairs Committee is finally hearing House bills. They have 6 on the agenda for today, and another 11 that are ahead of us. The committee meets Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I is possible we could be heard as early as Friday or next Tuesday. 

Naturally, politics could effect that estimate. The other thing that could effect it is whether the committee is also meeting on Saturdays. Sometimes late in the session committees that do not otherwise meet on Saturday do so in order to get things done. 

The other thing that might effect it is the state of the Senate. Rep. Gardner is worried that they have already started to wallow and are not really getting much done. This seems to happen every year, every session. I'm left wondering why they can't just grow up and get stuff done, but since I am not one of them I cannot begin to explain it. So at this point, we are calling the SPAC office and emailing the chair, Sen. Dede Feldman, and Rep. Gardner is looking into it as well. 

Hopefully, we will be heard no later than early next week. Keep calling your Senators. I'll post here when we find out when we will be heard.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Something is better than nothing

We heard from Senator Dede Feldman's office today. Apparently, they won't even start hearing House bills until next week. I told you, something is better than nothing—at least as far as news goes.

So everyone have a nice weekend, and hope for good news next week!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not really an update

We are just waiting right now. Trying to get on the Senate Public Affairs agenda. Emailing. Calling.

If Dede Feldman is your senator, feel free to call her and ask her to put us on her agenda. Even if she isn't your senator, call and ask.

We are trying to be patient . . . as we watch the days tick by in this all-too-short session.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Today as I was getting the word out and planning how to handle my testimony in the House on Thursday, I got a phone call from Rep. Gardner. 

The bill had been on the Temporary Calendar. I was under the impression that bills were on the Temp Calendar for one day in between the committees and the House Calendar. That would have put us on for Wednesday, except Rep. Gardner has to be away on Wednesday. That's why we were scheduled for Thursday.

Apparently, the Speaker of the House (Rep. Ben Lujan, who is also a member of the Taxation and Revenue Committee—so he heard Carin and I speak last Wednesday with both girls in tow) recommended that Rep. Gardner put the bill on the House Calendar for TODAY. I didn't know that was possible. But it clearly is . . . so he did. We didn't even get a call until it was all said and done. 

It PASSED! There were only 2 dissenting votes. 

Carin and I are disappointed that we didn't get to testify, but we have to agree with Rep. Gardner . . . having it moving is far more important. So now we are on to the Senate (Public Affairs and then Finance). 

It was incredibly generous of Speaker Lujan to suggest and encourage it be done today. We clearly have some very wonderful and generous lawmakers helping us along the route this time. We could not be more grateful for the help they have given us.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Appropriations and Floor Vote

Today we finally heard from Rep. Gardner about the Appropriations and Finance committee. The news is great; we are out of HAF. 

We are on the calendar for a floor vote on Thursday. The session usually starts at about 10 am and runs until 1 pm—if all goes well. Keep an eye on the House Calendar. I will post here when we know for sure what time the House convenes on Thursday. 

I am excited! After this we go through two committees in the Senate.  

If you have not already called your Representative, please do so now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thank you

I would like to say thank you to a few people . . . 

Thank you to Rep. Gardner. Carin and I both feel truly blessed that you are our sponsor. You have done and are doing us a great service. I don't know that words will every truly express how grateful we are. 

Thank you to Anita. Without you, Carin and I would have had a much more difficult time today. You were truly a life-saver. We are truly thankful and also happy that you could join us today. Thank you for your support.

Thank you to Rep. Edward Sandoval, HTR Committee Chair. He offered us his office to be comfortable in while we were waiting--with the girls--for our bill to come up. He also agreed to move our bill ahead on the agenda so that we could get out of there just a little bit sooner. Thank you for your kindness. You are a true gentleman.

Thank you to the supporters. I have the understanding that quite a few supporters came and waited while we were all waiting. We did not know you were there or we would have gladly had a conversation with you. If you were there, waiting, thank you. We were the two women with babies out in the hall for all those hours. No, we were not there for the childcare bill. I hope you can make it for the floor vote, or for one of the other committee meetings. Please feel free to introduce yourselves next time, I will be the one with the adorable baby.

Thank you to our daughters. You girls were such troopers today. We are sorry to have to drag you around with us when you are tired and sick and just want to play and don't want to have to be quiet. We love you more than anything in the world. 

Thank you to all of our readers. Your support means the world to us. 

Long hours

Good news! We got a "do pass" with no dissenting votes in House Taxation and Revenue tonight. The meeting was supposed to start at 1:30 pm. Notice I said "supposed to start"? The meeting actually started at 6:45 pm. There was a 3 hour debate on the House floor about repealing the death penalty in New Mexico. Mind you, we were there with two little girls in tow, at 1:30. Waiting. Once the meeting started there was one bill heard before ours, which was debated for more than an hour. I was back in my car at 8:30 pm.

More good news! We have worked out the Dept of Health's issues; they are no longer opposing it.

Even more good news! Rep. Gardner is going to see if he can get us out of House Appropriations and Finance altogether or get us on the consent calendar. 

We could go for a House floor vote as early as Saturday, Feb. 14--but more likely Monday, Feb. 17. Then we are into the Senate.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

House Taxation & Revenue


We have tentative information that HB196 is on the agenda in House Taxation & Revenue TOMORROW, Wednesday, February 11, 2009. The HTR Committee meets in Room 317 of the Roundhouse at 1:30 p.m.

I will post an update when I get confirmation, which will probably be tomorrow.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

KOAT Channel 7

Carin and I went to Channel 7 this morning for an interview. It appeared on the 5 o'clock news today (Sunday, February 8).

Here is the link to the story:

We did well, and it is a great story.

Thanks to Natalie Swaby at KOAT.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

One down

I have some good news to report! We have passed the first committee, as of Thursday, Feb. 5.

There was no hearing. We were put on the "consent calendar" and passed along with everything else on that calendar.

It may not seem like a good thing because there was no hearing--no chance to plead our case--but it really is great because it means there is basically no opposition to it in that committee.

There is one dissenting vote listed, Rep. Karen Giannini, so we will talk to her before the floor vote. We want to find out if she voted no to **our** bill or something else on the consent calendar. If she voted no on our bill, we want to have a chance to talk to her about it to clear up any questions or concerns she may have before the bill goes to the House floor for a vote. It would be lovely to have a unanimous vote like we had in 2007, but I know it isn't necessary.


From here we go to House Taxation and Revenue. Keep watching the agendas to see when that committee will hear it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Playing by the numbers

Typically, committee agendas are done in relative numerical order, especially at the beginning of the session when most bills are still in their first committee. We've been watching the HCPAC agenda pretty closely trying to estimate when we might have to be at the Roundhouse.

On Monday it looked like we were set to go on Thursday. There were only 7 bills left ahead of us, and there have been anywhere from 9 to 13 bills on each agenda so far. They have thrown in a bill or two from "behind" in an effort to group similar bills on the same day.

Last night I checked on Thursday's agenda, expecting, hoping HB 196 would be on it. We weren't. In fact, all of the bills except one scheduled for Thursday have higher bill numbers than ours.

I was very disappointed. I contacted our sponsor to find out if there is anything going on behind the scenes that we need to be aware of and if we should contact the committee chair directly. According to Rep. Gardner, all is well. He, too, had been hoping to be heard this week. He said they are trying to move groups of bills. (Most of the bills on the schedule for Thursday have to do with voting and ballots. But there are some that don't relate to that topic, and I guess it doesn't quite make sense why they would skip us and the other 7 bills ahead of us in that instance. If they were **all** voting and ballot bills, I could see it, but they aren't.) At any rate, Rep. Gardner says we are ok. No petty politics at play right now. So we are just waiting some more.

I will keep checking the agendas and hope that we are on next week.

Friday, January 30, 2009


I know that we, or I, haven't written much on here about our feelings in relation to this process. I guess I kind of thought we should keep this more about "business." I don't know for sure how Carin is feeling these days, but I can guess that it isn't too far off from what I'm feeling. So tonight I'm going to break my "all business" non-rule and spill the beans about how I am feeling.

Mostly, I'm feeling fragile. In 2007 when we did this, we laid so much on the line and got stomped on in the end. We felt great about what we were doing and the process and all of that. But when the governor didn't sign it and didn't sign it and didn't sign it, I pretty much guessed that he was not going to sign it. I hoped he would just let it pocket veto (or expire). Instead he outright vetoed it and that hurt. It hurt a lot.

So here we are again. Seemingly on the edge of this cliff. Just about to dive off into heavy political soup. It is complicated by changed relationships between politicians, new faces in some roles, and familiar but unwanted faces in some roles. I am anxious about the process. I still feel like a complete novice when it comes to how the whole thing works. I am nervous about speaking. I've never been good at speaking to any audience much less on this topic. I always seem to be the one who cries. Carin holds it together so well; I cry. I guess that is why we make such a good team. I am scared that we will fail again. This one task that has been given us so that we may honor our children.

I am also feeling vulnerable. This is a topic that is, obviously, near and dear to my broken soul. It does not get more personal for me. And here I am, again, holding my heart, my soul, and my child out before me asking for their approval. Asking for his approval. The governor. My heart still bears his shoe print from the first time around. Here I am, again, hoping more than anything that I don't get squashed in the name of politics.

Unfortunately, I don't know of another way to do this. I don't know how to make them all understand and fix the problem than to show them in graphic detail what it means to lose a child.

Here is my story. Here is my son. Here is my heart and my soul. Here is my indescribable pain. Please. Please make it right. Please.

Don't break my heart again. Please.

Friday, January 23, 2009

House Bill 196

It is official! We have a number, HB 196, for the bill. It is titled "Registration of Fetal Deaths." Here is the bill's web address:

There is a status page that will tell you where the bill is going, what actions have been taken, and if there have been any amendments made to it. Here is the bill's status page:

So, everyone ready? Start calling/faxing your Representatives and Senators. Ask them to support HB 196. Here is the web address to help you find your legislators:

If you are interested in attending committee meetings, you will need to check the Agendas and Calendars page. However, keep in mind that some committee schedules and agendas are published too close to the actual meeting time and are not actually posted online. They do their best, but it just isn't always possible. If something is on short notice, I will do my best to post it here. Here is the web address for the Agendas and Calendars page:

We are super excited to get started, but of course we are still pretty much waiting. The Regular Session opened on Tuesday, Jan. 20, but the actual committees have not even started getting to work yet. Most of their meetings have been "organizational" or "orientation." At this point, Carin and I will be contacting various committee members in both the House and the Senate to solicit their support and, hopefully, air out any concerns or questions they may have.

Please let us know if you have questions, comments or concerns. If I've left anything out, please let me know.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ready . . . Set . . . Wait

We now have version 4 of the bill in our possession, and, as far as we can tell, it is complete. Now we are just waiting for it to be pre-filed. Pre-filing closes on Friday. I will post the bill number as soon as we actually know what it is.

A couple of things:

We are hoping to get Rep. Mimi Stewart to agree to co-sponsor the bill. She still needs to look over the final draft before making that decision. We hope to have an answer to this issue next week. We are looking for a woman who is a democrat to co-sponsor so that we can make this a non-partisan (or at least bi-partisan) bill.

We had a meeting today with Jane Wishner of the Southwest Women's Law Center and Martha Edmonds of Planned Parenthood. They have both agreed to a neutral stance on the bill in its current form. Neutral is good. Support is something we would not expect; opposition is bad. Obviously, these are not the only women's rights groups in the state, but they are the ones we have been in contact with. We hope their opinion will carry over to the other groups. "If they don't object, I guess we have no objection either" kind of thing.

And most imporantly, the 2009 Regular Session opens Tuesday, Jan. 20. If you do not already know who your representative and senator are, please go to the New Mexico Legislature site ( and find out that information. We are hoping to have oodles of people calling, faxing, emailing their legislators during the session to support this bill. If you are reading this and live in NM, get your dialing fingers ready.

If you are interested in coming to any committee meetings, keep checking back here and the NM Legislature site to see where the bill is in the process and where it is headed next. I will do my best to get meeting information out so that others might join us in the process. We would absolutely love to have some supporters with us this year! Please join us if you can.

Please remember, the legislative session is crazy. Some committees don't publish their schedules or agendas until the very last minute (like the actual day of the meeting--within hours of the actual meeting). If our bill appears at the bottom of the agenda, be prepared for the fact that it may not actually get heard that day, but be pushed to the next meeting. Then again, it might get heard that day! Some topics run long, others run short. If you are interested in attending committee meetings, please email me now so we can arrange for a more direct form of contact.

Thanks for all of your support. Here we go!