SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bill by bill, New Mexico has been changing legal protections for individuals involved in gender-affirming, reproductive, and abortion-related healthcare. Wednesday, April 5, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed another law aimed at adding protections.
Senate Bill 13, sponsored by Democratic legislators, prohibits public agencies and workers from providing patient information to people seeking civil or criminal punishment for accessing gender-affirming or reproductive healthcare. In effect, the law is aimed at keeping patients from being “turned in” to other states. The law also seeks to protect healthcare providers from intimidation or harassment.
“We are seeing the rights of individuals seeking critical health care services being quashed in states around the country,” Lujan Grisham said in a press release. “These policies have real consequences that play out in the lives of American families, and New Mexico is a state that will stand up for the rights of all to access the health care services they need.”
The bill is a companion to another new law created this year, which prohibits public entities (such as cities and counties) from discriminating against people for using (or refusing) gender-affirming and reproductive care. And on top of the new legal protections, New Mexico’s Supreme Court recently ordered a pause on local abortion ordinances in New Mexico.
The political battle over reproductive care, including abortion, has been heated in New Mexico following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe V. Wade in 2021. The debates on the topic in the Roundhouse in Santa Fe were emotional for politicians on both sides of the aisle, and opponents have said such changes go against the moral fabric of New Mexico, but advocates have applauded the new laws in New Mexico.
“With the signing of Senate Bill 13, in addition to multiple other bills recently signed, we are proud to live in the safest and most affirming state in the nation for LGBTQ people,” Marshall Martinez, the executive director of Equality New Mexico, said in a press release. “Bodily autonomy is the key to our liberation as queer and trans folks and these protections for patients, providers, and all of their support networks is a crucial piece of achieving full autonomy for us all.”