NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – After some New Mexico towns banned certain things involving abortions in their communities, Democratic lawmakers are trying to stop them with bills. Those bills are aimed to protect access to abortions in the state. Now, Republicans argue those towns have the right to make those decisions.
On Friday, State Senator Linda Lopez and Representative Linda Serrato announced they will introduce two new bills this legislative session addressing reproductive health in the state of New Mexico.
“I’m really excited to be introducing these bills with my friends,” Senator Linda Lopez.
“They protect women’s bodily autonomy, they protect a person’s access to health care, and what we need more in New Mexico is more access to health care, not less,” said Representative Serrato.
Senator Lopez will sponsor the ‘Reproductive Health Care Protection Act’ that would make the governor’s executive order a law. It prevents state agencies and others from sharing private information related to reproductive health care.
“In addition to that, it also ensures that the entities understand the best ways to protect patient information or provide information from abusive investigations or harassment from other entities,” said Representative Serrato.
Representative Serrato’s ‘Reproductive Health Care Freedom Act’ bill would prohibit local municipalities from denying or restricting access to reproductive care, including abortions.
“We should not be making women scared to go ahead and get the health care they need, just because their counties may, you know, persecute them in some way. You should get health care without fearing jail.”
This comes after Clovis, Hobbs, and Roosevelt County passed their own abortion bans under an obscure federal law that prohibits the shipping of medical supplies used for abortions. Serrato argues the state is the regulator of reproductive health care, not local towns. Republicans said those communities, which hold more conservative values, want their values upheld in their area.
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“So, I think it’s certainly state laws are what governs, you know, on these things, but cities and counties certainly have a right to have very expanded their opinion expressed through ordinance, not ordinances, but positions that they take,” said Senator Stuart Ingle, who represents parts of Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Lea, and Roosevelt counties.
Serrato said if her bill passes, the ordinances in those towns would become inactive.