SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Amid the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and ending federal protections on the right to an abortion, New Mexico’s Governor signed an executive order Monday related to abortion access in the state. The order addresses issues several outstanding issues as they related to New Mexico’s willingness to help other states that now have different laws on the books related to abortion.
The order comes as New Mexico lawmakers consider more definitions surrounding abortion following the state’s 2021 law, repealing a 1969 abortion ban in New Mexico. The governor was joined at Monday’s press conference by lawmakers and reproductive rights advocates, including Senate Majority Whip Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque), and representatives of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and the ACLU of New Mexico.
“We will not further imperil the rights and access points of anyone in the state of New Mexico,” Governor Lujan Grisham said. “As long as I’m Governor, everyone in the state of New Mexico will be protected, out of state residents seeking access will be protected, providers will be protected, and abortion is, and will continue to be legal, safe and accessible.”
The order can be broken down into three elements. The first surrounds assistance from New Mexico state agencies to other states. It directs all New Mexico state employees, appointees, officers or any others acting on behalf of the state to not provide assistance to any “investigation or proceeding initiated in or by another State that seeks to impose civil or criminal liability or professional sanction upon a person or entity” for various choices related to reproductive health care services that are legal in New Mexico.
The second elements seeks to define protection of health care and other professionals licensed in New Mexico. It directs New Mexico’s Superintendent of Regulation and Licensing to work with boards to develop policies ensuring “no person shall be disqualified from licensure or subject to discipline by a New Mexico board of professional licensure” for providing reproductive health care services otherwise legal in New Mexico, but illegal in another state.
The third element outlines limits on interstate extradition related to states that have outlined criminal statutes related to abortion. The order states the “Office of the Governor shall decline any request received from the executive authority of any other State to issue a warrant for the arrest or surrender of any person charged with a criminals violation of a law” as they relate to legal practices surrounding reproductive health care in New Mexico.
“It means we will not cooperate for any criminalization or attempt at removing a license, or holding accountable a provider here who might be under national license or regional license [in respects to abortion],” Governor Lujan Grisham said Monday. “I will not be executing, if there were any, warrants or extradition for any provider related to this issue.”
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The order comes as several nearby states have enacted trigger laws, immediately banning or curtailing abortion procedures amid the Roe v. Wade decision. In New Mexico, abortion remains legal after lawmakers repealed a 1969 law during the 2021 legislative session.