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.