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New Mexico Joins the Growing List of States Responding to US Supreme Court Ruling on Roe v. Wade Access to Abortion

On Tuesday, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law House Bill 9, also known as the Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act.[0] It is now a criminal offense to negligently store a firearm and permit a child to misuse the weapon.[1] The law also offers protections for transgender people seeking care.[2]

The Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Health Care Freedom Act, championed by Gov. Lujan Grisham, bars public bodies from discriminating against individuals’ health care on the basis of gender and from refusing or blocking their access to reproductive health care.[3] It was necessary in response to several New Mexico cities passing ordinances banning abortion after the US Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade last June.[3]

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling and the wave of anti-abortion legislation in other states, Minnesota’s Democratic governor signed a bill into law earlier this year that enshrined the “fundamental right” to access abortion in the state, and California passed several bills expanding abortion access, including protections for abortion providers and patients seeking abortion care in the state from civil action started in another state.[4]

This week, a federal court in Texas considered arguments to overturn the US Food and Drug Administration's permission for mifepristone, one of two medications used for medication abortions. The Guttmacher Institute reported that such abortions accounted for more than half of all abortions performed in the US in 2020.[5] The Trump-appointed judge, who has yet to make a ruling, indicated during the hearing that he is taking into account the possibility of revoking the FDA's approval.[5]

So far this year, lawmakers in Tennessee, Mississippi, Utah and South Dakota have enacted legislation to restrict minors’ access to gender-affirming care.[5] In the period up until early last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reported that more than 80 bills were proposed in various parts of the US to limit access to gender-affirming care. CNN also had access to this data.[5]

This report was contributed to by Devan Cole, Veronica Stracqualursi, Sydney Kashiwagi and Tierney Sneed of CNN.[5] With the signing of the Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act, New Mexico joins the growing list of states responding to the US Supreme Court’s June 2022 ruling overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision protecting access to abortion nationwide.

0. “Gun safety bill known as ‘Bennie's Bill' signed into law” KOB 4, 14 Mar. 2023, https://www.kob.com/new-mexico/gun-safety-bill-known-as-bennies-bill-signed-into-law

1. “Gun storage bill to be signed by Governor” KRQE News 13, 14 Mar. 2023, https://www.krqe.com/news/politics-government/gun-storage-bill-to-be-signed-by-governor

2. “House OKs protections for out-of-state abortion seekers, providers after heated debate” Yahoo News, 18 Mar. 2023, https://news.yahoo.com/house-oks-protections-state-abortion-033300792.html

3. “Bill Safeguarding Abortion Rights Heads to Governor's Desk” Santa Fe Reporter, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.sfreporter.com/news/morningword/2023/03/13/bill-safeguarding-abortion-rights-heads-to-governors-desk/

4. “New Mexico governor signs bill protecting access to reproductive and gender-affirming care into law” News-Press Now, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.newspressnow.com/news/national_news/politics/new-mexico-governor-signs-bill-protecting-access-to-reproductive-and-gender-affirming-care-into-law/article_7af37d58-2edf-5849-b796-6a0b565d31ba.html

5. “New Mexico governor signs bill protecting access to reproductive and gender-affirming care into law – Local News 8” LocalNews8.com, 18 Mar. 2023, https://localnews8.com/news/2023/03/17/new-mexico-governor-signs-bill-protecting-access-to-reproductive-and-gender-affirming-care-into-law/

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