The New Mexico legislature is dedicated to upholding abortion legislation

from: From MORGAN LEE Associated Press

Posted: 02/19/2021 / 8:02 PM MSTUpdated: 02/19/2021 / 8:02 PM MST

SANTA FE, NM (AP) – A Democrat-led legislature in New Mexico on Friday pressed for future access to abortion by voting to lift a dormant ban on most abortion procedures, a defiant counterpoint to the effort in some conservative states.

House of Representatives voted to repeal the 1969 law, which has not been enforced since the US Supreme Court ratified the right to abortion in 1973. If the law stays in place, it could come back into force if the Supreme Court passed the landmark Roe v. Wade finally picks it up.

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New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham promised Friday to sign the law when it reaches her desk in the coming days.

Abortion bans have been proposed in at least 10 states with Republican-led lawmakers that could test where the current US Supreme Court stands following the appointment of three Conservative judges by former President Donald Trump.

In South Carolina, a federal judge on Friday suspended a new law passed just two days earlier that would ban most abortions.

New Mexico is a heavily Roman Catholic state, with Democrats in control of every state office, the Supreme Court, and most of the seats in Congress.

Its 52-year-old abortion law allows a medical abortion with the approval of a specialist hospital only in the event of incest, police reports of rape, serious medical risks for the woman and indications of serious medical defects in the fetus.

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The law has been suspended since 1973 when the country’s highest court ruled Roe v. Wade, overriding state laws that prohibited or severely restricted access to abortion procedures.

“In the face of federal uncertainty, New Mexico needs clarity about women’s rights, women’s health care, women’s reproductive choices, abortion, and abortion care,” Lujan Grisham said on a video conference call with news media.

Legislative approval came with 40-30 House votes after three hours of plenary discussion. The state Senate passed the bill last week by 25-17 votes. In the House of Representatives, six Democrats and Republicans joined the opposition.

Proponents of abortion restrictions in New Mexico say a repeal would fuel esteemed New Mexico medical professionals who conscientiously object to abortion procedures.

“I think we are making a big mistake as a state here today,” said Aztec Republican MP T. Ryan Lane. “We impact doctors who have no desire to participate in these types of electoral processes or even medical processes.”

The deliberations of the House of Representatives were dominated by statements of the MPs, who form the majority of the House and the Democratic Group, on abortion rights.

“Should the protection of Roe v. Wade fall or be changed, we won’t go back to the days when I was a teenager and women had to take their risk with unsafe conditions and untrained abortion providers, ”said Democratic State MP Joanne Ferry from Las Cruces. “Many lost their lives or suffered permanent injuries such as infertility.”

Five Democratic state senators who joined Republicans to keep the 2019 abortion law in place were ousted from office last year.

Friday’s vote will affect women crossing state lines for abortion in New Mexico.

A clinic in Albuquerque is one of the few independent facilities in the country that performs unconditional abortions near the third trimester.

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