NM Activists Want "Sanctuary" Laws for Abortion Providers
Monday, May 9, 2022
Pro-choice activists want New Mexico to follow the lead of Connecticut in providing a safe haven for abortion providers after last week's leaked draft that indicated the Supreme Court will overturn legalized abortion nationwide.
Janet Williams - president of Santa Fe NOW, the local chapter of the National Organization for Women - said more protections will be needed as people travel from Texas, Arizona and other states to New Mexico, where abortion is legal.
She said medical records will need to be protected, and abortion providers will need protection from liability in other states.
"Like Texas trying to criminalize women and doctors and anyone that helps a woman," said Williams. "We'd like to try to protect them, so make our state a sanctuary state just like Connecticut."
In Texas and more than 20 other states, lawmakers have passed a so-called "trigger law" that would go into effect 30 days after Roe versus Wade is overturned, making performing abortion a felony.
The Texas law also offers a bounty of $10,000 to citizens if they win a court case against anyone who has helped someone gain access to an abortion.
Assuming the Supreme Court's draft ruling stands, Colorado and New Mexico will be the only two places in the Southwest that provide abortion services.
Williams said she expects new clinics to open in the state, but also expects to see more fake clinics, or "crisis pregnancy centers" - which she said look like real health centers but don't provide abortion or broader health care.
"They're setting up in communities and drawing people in who are pregnant and don't want their pregnancy and talking them out of abortion," said Williams. "But they set up with a name that sounds like they're going to help you, and they're not."
The director of a Mississippi abortion clinic at the center of Roe v. Wade related case says she's considering a move to New Mexico when the 1973 ruling is struck down. The Jackson Women's Health Organization, better known as the Pink House, is the last abortion clinic in Mississippi.
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