March 10, 2023

First of two abortion right bills heads to Guv’s desk

The first of two reproductive healthcare bills heard by  the Legislature this session is headed to the Governor’s desk after a House vote. She is expected to sign the bill. 

HB 7, Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Healthcare, sponsored by state Rep. Linda Serrato, D-Santa Fe, passed the House previously but due to amendments added in the state Senate, it came back to the House for a concurrence vote on those amendments. Republicans asked a few questions during the House debate Friday night about who could be sued and why but it had little debate and passed by a vote of 39-29.

The bill would bar any public body from discrimination against reproductive or gender-affirming care. This includes local governments who have already, or plan to, write ordinances to restrict abortion or gender-affirming care.

The amendments added to the bill by the Senate struck the words “directly” and “indirectly,” included new language into the bill to ensure it could not be construed as an insurance mandate and to ensure that only public bodies could be sued, not individuals acting on behalf of public bodies. Serrato said the Senate Judiciary Committee also cleaned up some language and found some typographical errors.

Maddy Hayden, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s spokesperson, said earlier this week to NM Political Report in an email that “the governor remains fully supportive of the bodily autonomy of women and efforts to preserve that right.”The other reproductive healthcare bill, SB 13, sponsored by state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, passed the state Senate Friday by a 26-6 vote. SB 13 codifies an executive order that Lujan Grisham issued last summer.