UNITED STATES NEWS

New Mexico governor signs bill to shield abortion providers

Apr 5, 2023, 2:32 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill Wednesday that protects providers of abortions from related prosecution, professional disciplinary action or extradition attempts by out-of-state interests.

A companion abortion-rights bill signed in March guarantees access to reproductive health care in response to a string of anti-abortion ordinances by cities and counties in eastern New Mexico where opposition to abortion access runs deep.

New Mexico is increasingly seen as a destination for abortion patients traveling from states including Texas that have banned abortion, or those imposing major restrictions.

“I think there is a lot of fear there,” said Democratic state Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill of Silver City, a school psychologist and cosponsor of the newly signed bill. “We want to make sure New Mexico is a state that is safe for women and safe for health care workers.”

The new law also protects medical providers when it comes to gender-affirming health care without regard to the age of patients, in a counterpoint to new laws restricting or banning such care in at least a dozen other states. Indiana’s Republican governor signed a bill Wednesday banning all gender-affirming care for minors.

Gender-affirming health care is defined under the New Mexico legislation as psychological, behavioral, surgical, pharmaceutical and other medical treatment for distress caused by a person’s gender assigned at birth not matching the gender with which they identify.

Lujan Grisham has framed safeguards for abortion access in New Mexico in a broader context as a cornerstone of women’s equality and democratic engagement.

She said Wednesday that medical professionals need legal protections to ensure continued public access to abortion in the tumultuous wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision that struck down the constitutional right to abortion and allows states to set limits on access.

“This is a state that’s going to stand with the men and women who provide our care. We’re clear about our rights. We’re clear about our choices,” Lujan Grisham said at a news conference alongside eight female state legislators who sponsored abortion-access legislation. “If we don’t protect providers, you can say they have access (to abortion) when it fact you do not.”

In 2021, New Mexico’s Democrat-led Legislature passed a measure to repeal a dormant 1969 statute that outlawed most abortion procedures, which ensured access to abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year.

More recently, two counties and three cities in eastern New Mexico adopted ordinances that restrict abortion access, reflecting deep-seated opposition to offering the procedure.

The New Mexico Supreme Court last week blocked those local anti-abortion ordinances pending the outcome of a legal challenge by the state attorney general.

Eve Espey, chairwoman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of New Mexico, said the law signed on Wednesday guards against attempts to sanction or discipline medical professionals involved in abortion procedures.

“Now we can tell our providers that we can continue to do this work,” she said at Wednesday’s news conference.

United States News

President Joe Biden gestures after speaking to graduating students at the Morehouse College commenc...

Associated Press

Biden tells Morehouse graduates that scenes in Gaza from the Israel-Hamas war break his heart, too

Joe Biden on Sunday offered his most direct recognition of U.S. students' anguish over the Israel-Hamas war.

28 minutes ago

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi suffered a “hard landing” on Sunday, May ...

Associated Press

Helicopter carrying Iran’s hard-line president apparently crashes in foggy, mountainous region

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country's foreign minister apparently crashed in mountainous Iran on Sunday.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Child is among 3 dead after Amtrak train hits a pickup truck in upstate New York

NEW YORK (AP) — A child was among the three victims killed when a passenger train hit a pickup truck, officials said. The northbound Amtrak train hit a Dodge truck Friday evening in North Tonawanda, New York, a small town along the Niagara River between Niagara Falls and Buffalo, police said. The victims included a […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

11 hurt in mass shooting that marked a weekend of gun violence in Savannah, Georgia

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — An argument between two women led to a gunfight that left 11 people hurt in a busy tourist area of Savannah, Georgia, late Saturday, one of five weekend shootings in the city, two of which were fatal, authorities said. Two people were injured in separate shootings Friday. Two more shootings Saturday […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Power expected to be restored to most affected by deadly Houston storm

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston area residents affected by deadly storms last week that left at least seven dead were finally getting some good news as officials said they expected power to be restored by Sunday evening to a majority of the hundreds of thousands still in the dark and without air conditioning amid hot and […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

America’s first Black astronaut candidate finally goes to space 60 years later on Bezos rocket

VAN HORN, Texas (AP) — America’s first Black astronaut candidate finally rocketed into space 60 years later, flying with Jeff Bezos’ rocket company on Sunday. Ed Dwight was an Air Force pilot when President John F. Kennedy championed him as a candidate for NASA’s early astronaut corps. But he wasn’t picked for the 1963 class. […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

New Mexico governor signs bill to shield abortion providers