Albuquerque Journal

NM likely to get abortion requests

US Supreme Court stance on Texas’ restrictiv­e laws may draw women here


The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a Texas law that bans most abortions will likely result in more people coming to New Mexico for the procedure, advocates said Thursday.

The state already was among the ones that pregnant people travel to because Albuquerqu­e is home to one of only a few independen­t clinics in the country that perform abortions in the third trimester.

An Associated Press analysis in 2019 found that New Mexico’s share of abortions performed on women from out of state in recent years more than doubled to about 25%.

Officials with New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproducti­ve Choice, which helps women with lodging, transporta­tion and other needs, said they already are experienci­ng an influx of women from elsewhere and are preparing for more in the next couple of weeks.

New Mexico earlier this year adopted legis

lation to overturn a dormant 1969 ban on most abortion procedures. Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the measure in February, saying women have the right to make decisions about their bodies.

Had the old statute been left in place, New Mexico’s ban on most abortion procedures would have gone into effect if the U.S. Supreme Court eventually overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

While there’s no pressure so far for the Democrat-controlled Legislatur­e to go further with abortion protection­s, Lujan Grisham’s office said Thursday that the state supports reproducti­ve health care decisions being made between women and their doctors, with no government interferen­ce.

“We do not and we will not stand for any attempts to criminaliz­e or restrict health care access in New Mexico,” said Nora Meyers Sackett, the governor’s spokeswoma­n.

She added that “draconian laws in neighborin­g states” may increase the need for abortion services in New Mexico.

The Texas law bans abortions once medical profession­als can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks — before some women know they’re pregnant. In a highly unusual twist, enforcemen­t will be done by private citizens who can sue anyone they believe is violating the law.

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