New Mexico Governor Signs Bill Overturning Local Abortion Bans

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A bill on abortion rights in New Mexico is now law after the governor signed the measure to strike down local ordinances meant to limit access to abortion procedures and medications.

ByMORGAN LEE Associated Press

SANTA FE, New Mexico — The governor of New Mexico signed an abortion rights bill into law on Thursday, striking down local ordinances intended to limit access to abortion-related procedures and medications.

Reproductive health clinics in New Mexico offer abortion procedures to patients from states, including Texas, with strict abortion bans. The new law also aims to ensure access to gender-affirming healthcare related to gender identity distress that does not match a person’s assigned sex.

New Mexico has some of the most liberal abortion access laws in the country, but two counties and three cities in eastern New Mexico have recently adopted abortion restrictions that reflect deep opposition to offering the procedure.

The bill signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham overturns those local ordinances.

An additional bill making its way through the New Mexico Legislature would protect abortion providers and patients from out-of-state interference, prosecution, or extradition attempts.

In 2021, the Democratic-led New Mexico Legislature passed a measure to repeal a dormant 1969 statute that prohibited most abortion procedures, thus guaranteeing abortion access after the US Supreme Court ruled. set aside Roe v. Wade last year.

The anti-abortion ordinances, adopted in recent months by officials in the cities of Hobbs, Clovis and Eunice, along with Lea and Roosevelt counties, refer to an obscure US anti-obscenity law that prohibits the shipment of medications or other materials intended to help in abortions. .

Separately, the state’s Democratic attorney general, Raúl Torrez, urged the state Supreme Court to intervene against local abortion ordinances that he says violate the state’s constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.

Democratic governors of 20 states this year launched a network aimed at strengthening abortion access in the wake of the US Supreme Court decision denying a woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. The decision transferred regulatory powers over the procedure to state governments.

Many states have also enacted or contemplated limits or outright bans on transgender medical treatment, and conservative US lawmakers say they worry young people will later regret irreversible, body-altering treatment.

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