Patricia Henderson stood in the parking lot next to the Florida Women’s Center in Jacksonville, wearing a white lab coat and greeting patients as they emerged from their cars. Their abortion appointments, she told them, were in the flat-roofed building across the road. Once inside, Henderson handed them three pages of paperwork to fill out – questions about everything from their highest level of education to the date of their last period. State investigative documents lay out what clients say happened next: She led them to a pink-walled ultrasound room, where she would reveal their pregnancies in grainy images that, according to leading medical groups, only a licensed physician or a specially trained advanced practice nurse should interpret. Henderson told one woman that abortion causes breast cancer – a claim widely disputed by medical research.
She informed another that she was not pregnant and just had a stomach virus.
New Mexico voters indicated that they support abortion rights, including New Mexico’s repeal of an antiquated abortion law. In a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling for NM Political Report, 55 percent of likely voters said they supported the repeal of the law that allowed abortion to remain legal in New Mexico despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision this summer that overturned Roe v. Wade. Another 33 percent said they opposed it and 11 percent said that they were not sure. This is similar to the results in June, before the Supreme Court decided Dobbs. In that poll, 53 percent said they would support such a repeal and 36 percent said they would oppose it.
On Wednesday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she will designate$10 million in executive capital outlay funding next year to develop a new clinic in Doña Ana County. Lujan Grisham is directing the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration to designate the $10 million in the upcoming 2023 legislative session for the new clinic. The New Mexico Department of Health will also develop a plan to leverage state resources to expand access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, to underserved areas of the state to increase access and decrease wait times at abortion clinics. Lujan Grisham’s announcement was a part of her second executive order on reproductive healthcare since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June. The first order established that New Mexico would not cooperate with other state’s efforts to prosecute patients who travel to New Mexico and would protect providers who work in the state.
Treatments for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies are still legal under the state’s abortion ban, according to state law and legal experts. But the statutes don’t account for complicated miscarriages, and confusion has led some providers to delay or deny care for patients in Texas.
Texas laws banning abortions make narrow exceptions only to save the life of a pregnant patient or prevent “substantial impairment of major bodily function.” And lawmakers in recent years have clarified state statutes to say treatments for miscarriages, known as “spontaneous abortions” in medicine, and ectopic pregnancies, in which a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus and becomes unviable, do not count as abortions.
President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Friday to protect reproductive care in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last month. Amid cries among progressives that Biden should take steps to protect abortion with measures such as expanding the court or provide abortion on federal land, Biden said during a press conference on Friday that his authority to counter the court’s decision was limited. But he raised his voice in anger when describing a recent news story about a 10-year-old rape victim in Ohio who had to travel out of state for a legal abortion in Indiana due to a resulting pregnancy. Biden stressed that the U.S. Congress needs to pass the Women’s Health Protective Act to protect abortion care. The U.S. House passed the bill but Republicans in the U.S. Senate have filibustered it.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order on Monday to protect abortion providers from extradition if other states hostile to abortion rights attempt to pursue charges against the providers. Lujan Grisham signed the order during a press conference on Monday. She was flanked by representatives from abortion rights organizations and state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque. Lopez sponsored the bill that repealed New Mexico’s 1969 law that banned abortion with few exceptions in 2021. Lujan Grisham said the order would provide protections in a number of ways, including ensuring access for individuals who reside in the state and also ensure protections for individuals traveling from out of the state.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A group of protestors supporting abortion rights marched for about four miles from the U.S. Supreme Court building to Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. on Sunday. Marching to chants such as “we are not incubators,” “we won’t go back” and “this is what democracy looks like,” the peaceful rally traveled past congressional buildings on Independence Avenue before ending at Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th Street at a blockaded portion of Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House.
Police escorted the marchers and when the protestors reached the blockaded Pennsylvania Avenue, they turned the march into a sit-in in the middle of the street under the threat of rain. One anti-abortion demonstrator began to thread his way into the march shouting religious comments through a bull horn. A police car blocked him and some abortion rights protestors verbally confronted him a few times. Many protestors’ signs made connections between the court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and LGBTQ rights.
A poll commissioned by NM Political Report found that a majority of voters support abortion rights, including a law protecting abortion rights recently passed by the state legislature, and also are poised to approve dipping into the state’s massive land grant permanent fund for education funding. Abortion rights could be at the forefront of midterm elections as the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to gut the landmark Roe v. Wade decision this summer. When asked in the poll conducted by Public Policy Polling if abortion should be always legal; legal with some limitations; illegal except for rape, incest or to save the mother’s life; or always illegal, a majority said it should be legal (with 30 percent saying always, 25 percent saying legal with limitations). Just 13 percent said it should always be illegal and 29 percent said it should be illegal except in the cases or rape, incest or to save the mother’s life. When asked about the new state law that would allow abortion to remain legal in New Mexico regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court decides, 53 percent said they supported the recently enacted law and 36 percent said they opposed it.
If it seems as though the anti-abortion movement has gotten more extreme in recent months, that’s because it has. But it’s not the first time — positions taken by both sides of the abortion debate have ebbed and flowed repeatedly in the 49 years since the Supreme Court declared abortion a constitutional right. Abortion opponents and those supporting abortion rights expect the Supreme Court to soon overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, and both groups have reacted strongly. Abortion rights supporters unsuccessfully pushed Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would not only codify abortion rights but also eliminate lots of popular restrictions the court has allowed since 1973, most notably parental involvement laws. But it’s abortion opponents’ efforts in many conservative states to exclude most exceptions — for rape or incest or to save the life of the mother — that have drawn headlines recently.
With Texas poised to automatically ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, some Republicans are already setting their sights on the next target to fight the procedure: businesses that say they’ll help employees get abortions outside the state.
Fourteen Republican members of the state House of Representatives have pledged to introduce bills in the coming legislative session that would bar corporations from doing business in Texas if they pay for abortions in states where the procedure is legal.