Senate Bill 10 passes the New Mexico Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee and House Bill 7 was introduced in the House of Representatives
CONTACT: Josette Arvizu | 505.357.0485
Respect NM Women Coalition
SANTA FE – Today the Respect NM Women and Families Act took significant steps forward– Senate Bill 10 passed its first committee and House Bill 7 was introduced. The Respect NM Women and Families Act would repeal the 1969 abortion ban.
Senate Bill 10, sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque) and Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) was passed in the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee on a party line vote. All five of the Democratic members of the committee voted in favor of passing the bill onto the Senate Judiciary Committee with the three Republican members voting against. Senate Bill 10 now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee for it’s final committee hearing in the New Mexico Senate.
House Bill 7 was introduced into the House today, sponsored by Representative Micaela Lara Cadena (D-Mesilla), Speaker of the House Egolf (D-Santa Fe), Representative Georgene Louis (D-Albuquerque), Representative Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces) and Representative Debbie Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) and will be headed to the House Health and Judiciary committees.
Currently, a pre-Roe v. Wade statute from the 1960’s that criminalizes abortion in almost all circumstances is on the books in New Mexico. If Roe v. Wade falls, or is weakened by the Supreme Court of the United States, this law could quickly become enforceable again. The 1969 abortion ban would make abortion a felony, jeopardizing access to safe and legal care in New Mexico. Patients seeking abortion care would be forced to beg for permission from a panel of strangers.
“Making a decision to not continue a pregnancy is difficult,” said bill sponsor Senator Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque). “Each decision that is made is personal and individual. We must make sure that access to reproductive health is available to all and is safe. Today’s vote in committee shows that we stand with, trust and respect NM women, pregnant people and their families to make their own informed healthcare decisions.”
“I stand with 77% of fellow New Mexicans that believe women’s reproductive healthcare decisions, with consultation with their healthcare providers, are private, and politics should not intervene,” said Senator Brenda McKenna (D-Corrales), member of the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee. “Each pregnancy is unique and complex. I trust women to make their healthcare decisions–all of them.”
“Pregnancy is sacred, and we must honor the pregnancy-related decisions each person makes for themselves,” said Representative Micaela Lara Cadena (D-Mesilla). “As a mama, person of faith, and Chicana New Mexican, I know its time to show up for New Mexico in repealing this dangerous 1969 statute designed to keep our families from the abortion care they may need.”
“This session, the House and this legislature are standing up for women everywhere by repealing this archaic law,” said Speaker Of The House Of Representatives Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe). “As Speaker, I am honored to stand with the sponsors of this bill in moving forward legislation through the House to finally remove this harmful policy. Nothing should stand between a woman and her ability to make decisions about her own health care.”
“We have a historic opportunity to remove New Mexico’s dangerous and unconstitutional abortion ban,” said Ellie Rushforth, Reproductive Rights Counsel at the ACLU of New Mexico. “The ban didn’t belong on the law books in 1969 and certainly doesn’t belong there now. The decision to have an abortion is not a political one. It is a personal one. Everyone should be able to receive individualized care, based on their unique circumstances and medical needs, without the fear of investigation or prosecution.”
“Abortion access is necessary for trans people and people across gender spectrums, sexual orientations, family structures, religious affiliations, income levels, and those with children,” Charlene Bencomo, Executive Director of Bold Futures says. “Maintaining access to legal abortion will keep people safe throughout every legislative district in New Mexico.”
“Indigenous Women Rising created reproductive healthcare funds out of necessity,” said Nicole Martin (Navajo, Laguna, Chiricahua Apache, Zuni), Co Founder and Sex Educator with Indigenous Women Rising. “We have and continue to put in effort to make the full range of healthcare accessible for our communities. We recognize that pregnant peoples experiences and decisions are complex. That is why our fund helps with practical support. We need the New Mexico government to remove barriers to abortion healthcare by repealing the 1969 abortion ban.”
Currently, there is a case aimed at weakening and overturning Roe v Wade, the landmark court case that legalized abortion in the US, in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case out of Mississippi will consider the state’s 15 week abortion ban.
“The Respect Women and Families Act provides protection for women who have made a personal decision about abortion based on their own beliefs, moral code, and conscience.” says Joan Lamunyon Sanford, Executive Director of the NM Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, “Our faith compels us to trust women and continue to advocate for each individual’s right to care for their own body, health, and well-being.”
“Santa Fe NOW proudly supports the Respect NM Women and Families Act, Senate Bill 10 and House Bill 7,” said Janet Williams with the National Organization for Women, Santa Fe Chapter. “We remember what life was like before Roe v Wade, when abortion was illegal. We support access to all reproductive health services, including abortion care. We must repeal New Mexico’s abortion ban.”
“Health, not politics, should drive important medical decisions,” said Sondra Roeuny, Public Affairs Director for Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico. “New Mexico women, families, and communities deserve the highest quality care, including abortion care later in pregnancy. Every pregnancy is unique. A patient’s personal medical needs – and not politics – should be the focus of their care. It’s time to get rid of this dangerous ban.”
The Respect NM Women and Families Act has been highlighted as a priority for Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. It is dire that the New Mexico Legislature repeal the 1969 abortion ban from statute and safeguard abortion care access for all New Mexicans. Currently, the Supreme Court of the United States has an anti-abortion majority and the overturning or weakening of Roe v Wade could soon become reality. House Bill 7 will be heard in its first committee in the House Health and Human Services Committee. Senate Bill 10 now heads to the Senate Judiciary Committee for its final committee hearing in the New Mexico Senate.
Respect New Mexico Women is a movement of women, families, faith leaders, medical providers, and community-based organizations united in support of New Mexico women and their reproductive health decisions. Members of Respect New Mexico Women are the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, Bold Futures, Equality New Mexico (EQNM), Girls Inc. of Santa Fe, Indigenous Women Rising, Las Cruces Coalition for Reproductive Justice, National Organization for Women (NOW) New Mexico chapter, NOW Santa Fe chapter, NOW Albuquerque chapter, New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, New Mexico Women’s Agenda, Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico, ProgressNow New Mexico, Southwest Women’s Law Center, Strong Families New Mexico, Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), Tewa Women United, and Whole Woman’s Health.