New Mexico city adopts ordinance to block abortion clinics

Nov 8, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 6:51 pm

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — Commissioners in a southeastern New Mexico city have adopted an ordinance designed to block abortion clinics from operating, although the procedure remains legal in New Mexico.

The all-male city commission voted 7-0 Monday night for the so-called “sanctuary city for the unborn” ordinance, the Hobbs News-Sun reported.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is running for reelection, has cast herself as a staunch defender of access to abortion procedures. In a statement issued after the vote, she said the ordinance was an “affront to the rights and personal autonomy of every woman in Hobbs and southeastern New Mexico and we will not stand for it.”

Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said abortion procedures are legal throughout New Mexico and that providers delivering health care have every right to establish a practice.

In June, she signed an executive order that prohibited cooperation with other states that might interfere with abortion access in New Mexico, declining to carry out any future arrest warrants from other states related to anti-abortion provisions. The order also prohibited most New Mexico state employees from assisting other states in investigating or seeking sanctions against local abortion providers.

She followed up in August with another executive order that pledged $10 million to build a clinic that would provide abortion and other pregnancy care in southern New Mexico.

Last year, New Mexico’s Democratic-led Legislature passed a measure to repeal a dormant 1969 statute that outlawed most abortion procedures.

New Mexico is likely to continue to see a steady influx of people seeking abortions from neighboring states with more restrictive laws. It already hosts patients from Texas and Oklahoma, where strict abortion bans were adopted earlier this year.

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New Mexico city adopts ordinance to block abortion clinics