New Mexico Asks Court to Block Cities’ Abortion Bans

January 24, 2023

Clovis, NM By ArdenZ87 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67544151


New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez filed an extraordinary writ in the state’s Supreme Court to block abortion bans levied in cities and counties after Roe v Wade was struck down.

The cities of Hobbs, Clovis, and two surrounding counties bordering Texas passed ordinances restricting access to abortion clinics and abortion pills, each calling itself a “sanctuary for the unborn.” The town of Eunice became the latest to do so on Monday.

The move by Hobbs in November marked the first for a town in a state controlled by the Democratic Party, according to anti-abortion advocates. It came roughly five months after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning the Constitutional right to abortion established in 1973 by Roe v Wade.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) at the time called Hobbs’ anti-abortion ordinance “a clear affront to the rights and personal autonomy of every woman in Hobbs and southeastern New Mexico, and we will not stand for it.”

After filing his writ in the state Supreme Court, Torrez said in a statement, “This is not Texas. Our State Constitution does not allow cities, counties or private citizens to restrict women’s reproductive rights.”

Right-to-life activists, however, argue that the regulations remain valid under federal law. They have vowed to work on bringing such ordinances to more cities in New Mexico, which is the only state bordering Texas where abortion remains legal.

“I’ve told the city and folks in this room over and over again, I am pro-life that is my personal makeup and that I believe it is clear a baby in the womb is in fact a baby, and a separate and distinct human being,” Clovis Mayor Mike Morris said, explaining to reporters why he supported the city’s anti-abortion bill.

Neither Hobbs nor Clovis actually had abortion clinics within their city limits before imposing their “sanctuary” restrictions.

New Mexico’s largest cities, Las Cruces and Albuquerque, have become regional destinations for women seeking abortions since the Dobbs ruling.

Torrez said because this is an extraordinary action the New Mexico Supreme Court should have a decision on the abortion bans within months.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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