HOBBS, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico city has adopted an ordinance meant to stop abortion providers from setting up shop. The Hobbs City Commission approved the measure on Monday.
Like a similar ordinance proposed in Clovis, it does not ban abortion outright. Instead, it draws on a decades-old federal law still on the books, prohibiting supplies or medications needed for abortion from being sent through the mail.
Critics of the proposal say that federal law is unenforceable and exposes the city to costly legal challenges. “This ordinance is toothless, powerless, and it will accomplish nothing,” said one opponent. “Actually, it will accomplish worse than nothing, because passing it will mean inevitable lawsuits. “It won’t hold up in court, it will cost the taxpayers a ton in legal fees and potential payouts to the very abortion clinic that people here hope to prevent from coming here.”
Commissioners said they felt confident in their legal team and agreed with members of the public who said the ordinance reflects the values of the community. “I think they have put forth an ordinance that has been properly vetted and the public has been given an opportunity to respond to that,” said Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb.
“We can be the leaders today in Hobbs, New Mexico. We can be the light that shines here in New Mexico,” a supporter said.
In Clovis, the same legal concerns prompted city commissioners to postpone the vote in order to consider ways to address them.