Historic legislation to repeal the 1969 abortion ban moves to the House of Representatives
SANTA FE – Today, the Respect NM Women and Families Act, Senate Bill 10, sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque) and Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) was passed by the New Mexico Senate. The historic legislation to repeal the 1969 abortion ban received overwhelming support with a final vote of 25-17.
This legislation would repeal a pre-Roe v. Wade statute from the 1960’s that criminalizes abortion in almost all circumstances that is currently on the books in New Mexico. If Roe v. Wade, the landmark court case that legalized abortion in the US, is overturned or is weakened by the Supreme Court of the United States, this old abortion ban could quickly become enforceable again.
“As a Pueblo Woman my traditions, customs, and values play a huge part in my role as a mother and community member. Hon dewan illaba. We have a place, we have a purpose,” said Sherry Bellson, Fellow with Forward Together Action. “Native Americans in New Mexico know they can hold their own moral views about abortion and still trust a woman and her family to make this decision for themselves. Women are the givers of life, yet we are subjected to laws which criminalize our autonomy. As women, having autonomy IS the moral value of a woman. This work is for 7 generations and beyond. Not for you and me but for future New Mexicans who face uncertain times. Every situation is different, every woman is different.”
“The right to privacy, the core principle of Roe v Wade, is also at the center for other rights including LGBTQ rights. As a queer woman of color, dismantling Roe has an impact across all intersections of my identity. It’s not if, but when Roe will be dismantled and New Mexico cannot take a step backward in protecting and respecting a person’s autonomy and right to make their own healthcare decisions.” says Kat Sanchez, Policy Associate at Bold Futures
“Whether changing laws that allow us to be our authentic selves without arrest in the 60s, or fighting for Marraige Equality in the 2000s–LGBTQ people have always asked, more than anything else that our government allows us to make the decisions for ourselves about the lives we live, the families we create, and the roles we play in society,” said Marshall Martinez, Executive Director of Equality New Mexico. “Passing this bill means taking one step closer to creating a world where we trust individuals, all individuals regardless of their gender, or sexual orientation, to know what’s best for themselves and their families–that includes whether or not to seek abortion care.”
Throughout today’s hearty debate, bill sponsors of the Respect NM Women and Families Act continuously referenced that New Mexico women and families deserve the respect to make their own decisions regarding abortion care–without government interference.
“Every pregnancy is unique and every decision relating to it is a deeply personal one. We must respect and support those who have to make these difficult decisions and take politics out of it once and for all,” said Senate Bill 10 Sponsor Senate Majority Whip Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque). “The existing and long-outdated statute simply must be repealed to ensure that abortion remains accessible, safe and legal in New Mexico. I look forward to working with our fellow sponsors in the House to get the bill up to the Governor’s desk.”
“Voters made clear in the last election cycle they wanted New Mexico’s outdated abortion law off the books,” said Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe). “Today the state Senate delivered. Abortion is a personal health care decision which should be left to individuals and their health care providers not politicians.”
“The passage of this bill through the Senate is a proud moment for New Mexican families. I know that we can never walk in another woman’s shoes; politics certainly have no place in these deeply personal decisions,” said Representative Micaela Lara Cadena (D-Mesilla). “I am proud to stand with my House and Senate cosponsors. I’m ready to get this bill to the Governor for her signature.”
“This is a momentous day for the women of New Mexico who went to the ballot box in November and said enough with the politics around my personal healthcare decisions! Decisions about pregnancy and abortion should remain between New Mexicans, their families, and their health care providers,” said Representative Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces).
“The New Mexico Senate’s historic vote today to repeal an outdated abortion ban that puts doctors in jail for providing healthcare is a powerful reflection of New Mexico values,” said Representative Deborah Armstrong (D-Albuquerque) who is a cosponsor of Senate Bill 10 and the companion bill in the House. “In our state, we respect the ability of all people to make the healthcare choices that are right for them and their families. I applaud the partnership between the House and the Senate to take this important step forward.”
“Seeing this legislation pass the Senate is quite an emotional moment. New Mexico, regardless of any action the United States Supreme Court may take, will remain a state where women will have access to safe, legal, abortions,” said Representative Georgene Louis (D-Albuquerque). Despite all of the misinformation, politics, and divisiveness, women came together and stood up for their rights to make their own personal healthcare decisions.”
“This year, the success of this legislation through a Senate chamber where two years ago it had failed is a direct result of New Mexico’s voters who demanded at the ballot box that all women should be allowed to make their own personal healthcare decisions. I look forward to moving this bill through the House and to the Governor’s desk for signing,” said Speaker of the House of Representatives Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe).
Currently the Supreme Court of the United States has an anti-abortion majority, the repeal or weakening of Roe v Wade could soon become reality. There is already a case aimed at weakening and overturning Roe v Wade, 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.
“For years, we’ve been fighting to ensure that all people in our state can make the reproductive health decisions that are right for them and their families including access to safe and legal abortion” said Ellie Rushforth, reproductive rights counsel at the ACLU of New Mexico. “Today’s senate vote brought us closer to making that vision a reality and to achieving justice for New Mexican families.”
“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. A patient’s personal health needs should be the focus of their care. It’s time to get rid of this dangerous ban, and today we’re one step closer.”
The Respect New Mexico Women Coalition is so proud of the work they have done over generations–this is for our matriarchs and children. Outdated and dangerously restrictive laws such as the 1969 abortion ban take complex, personal decisions away from New Mexicans and restrict access to safe abortion care. The 1969 abortion ban would force patients seeking abortion care to beg for permission from a panel of strangers.
Repeal of the 1969 abortion ban has wide support across our state, organizations endorsing and in support of the Respect NM Women and Families Act are: New Mexico Medical Society, New Mexico Public Health Association, NM Academy of Family Physicians, NM Chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, New Mexico Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives, Otero County Community Health Council, American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, NM Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Bold Futures, Equality New Mexico (EQNM), Forward Together Action, Girls Inc. of Santa Fe, Indigenous Women Rising, Las Cruces Coalition for Reproductive Justice, National Organization for Women (NOW), New Mexico chapter, National Organization for Women (NOW), Santa Fe chapter, National Organization for Women (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, Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) – Con Mujerxs Gender Justice, Tewa Women United, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, League of Women Voters, AAUW, and Noise for NOW.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has highlighted the Respect NM Women and Families Act as a priority this legislative session. Senate Bill 10 now heads to the New Mexico House of Representatives.
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.