The Not Invisible Act commission is hearing testimony this week in Albuquerque to gather information about missing and murdered Indigenous women and relatives. The commission’s listening session in Albuquerque, which runs through Friday, is one of several hearings nationwide which started in Tulsa in April and will conclude in Billings in July to hear about state-wide problems and efforts regarding missing and murdered Indigenous women and relatives.
The commission will use the information gathered during the listening tour to compile a report in October to recommend how the government can better respond to the epidemic. The report will go to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, Congress and other federal partners. The Not Invisible Act, sponsored by former U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, who represented New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District and now serves as secretary of the Interior, became law in 2019 and increased coordination to identify and combat violent crime within Native land and against Native individuals. Haaland drafted the bill in response to the missing and murdered Indigenous people and human trafficking problem.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision unleashed “some real darkness” for the LGBTQ community nationally, but New Mexico responded with a landmark legislative year for LGBTQ rights. The Human Rights Campaign declared a national state of emergency earlier this month for LGBTQ Americans because more than 75 anti-LGBTQ bills have been signed into law in 2023 in states across the country. The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBTQ organization, calls the number of anti-LGBTQ bills “unprecedented.”
Marshall Martinez, executive director for Equality New Mexico, said this is “arguably the most politically dangerous time in American history for queer and trans folks.”
“We can’t deny that when this Supreme Court was seated, when they issued the Dobbs decision, they signaled very clearly to the state and local governments across the country, you can do what you want to attack bodily autonomy and we’re not going to stop you,” Martinez told NM Political Report. In the Dobbs decision, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion that the court needed to revisit other cases that rest on the 14th amendment, including Obergefell v. Hodges, which codified same-sex marriage, and Lawrence v. Texas, which codified same-sex relationships. Adrien Lawyer, director of education and co-founder of Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico, said he doesn’t see how reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights are separate politically.
Two bills that will strengthen New Mexico’s protections for reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare in New Mexico became law on Friday. HB 7 and SB 13 both passed the 2023 legislature and were signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham this year. HB 7, Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Healthcare Act, prohibits discrimination against individuals seeking reproductive or gender-affirming healthcare. SB 13, Reproductive Health Provider Protections Act, is also commonly referred to as the shield law because it shields providers and patients from civil or criminal liability for abortion or gender-affirming care in New Mexico. It further shields reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare providers by prohibiting licensing boards in their specialties from discrimination.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation that protects providers and patients from out-of-state efforts to criminalize or penalize through civil court the right to abortion in New Mexico. SB 13, Reproductive Health Provider Protections, codifies into law Lujan Grisham’s executive order announced last summer, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade through its Dobbs decision. It also protects those providing and seeking gender-affirming care. The new law, sponsored by state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, carries penalties of $10,000 for a violation. It prohibits state agencies from participating in an out-of-state effort to seek information about or from abortion or gender-affirming care providers.
The Legislature passed two major reproductive rights bills this legislative session, one of which went to the governor’s desk in the final days. Both bills increase protections in the state for both reproductive healthcare and gender-affirming care. As of February 1, 2023, there are 17 states that have put some protections in place for abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham already signed HB 7, the Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Healthcare Act, into law. It prohibits public bodies from discriminating against individuals seeking reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare.
There are two towns, Clovis and Hobbs, and two counties, Lincoln and Roosevelt, that have passed ordinances that have placed barriers to clinics that provide abortions from obtaining a business license.
With just days left before the end of the 2023 Legislative Session, the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill to protect reproductive health care providers and patients in New Mexico.
The committee passed the bill on y a 6 to 2, party line vote. SB 13, sponsored by state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, appeared to stall earlier in the session but now heads the House floor. The bill must be heard and pass the House before 12 p.m. Saturday to reach Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk this year. The bill would, if enacted, protect both providers providing reproductive healthcare and patients seeking it in New Mexico. The bill would codify Lujan Grisham’s executive order last year so that the protections currently in place will remain so regardless of who is governor.
The bill to protect abortion and gender-affirming providers and patients from out-of-state entities passed the state Senate by a 26-6 vote. SB 13, would codify Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s executive order from last summer. The bill would protect both providers and patients seeking abortion care and gender-affirming healthcare from other states or individuals out of state who try to seek information about the patient or provider. State Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, also a bill sponsor, said the bill will “ensure no one is criminalized for safe and legal healthcare.”
“It privileges certain healthcare information so patients and providers can go without fear of out-of-state criminal or civil liability,” she said. Related: First of two abortion right bills heads to Guv’s desk
Republicans argued that the bill is not constitutional, that it conflicts with both the U.S. Constitution and with the state’s constitution.
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 Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would protect providers and patients from out-of-state entities seeking information to harass or penalize for abortion by a vote of 7-to-1 Monday night. SB 13, Reproductive Healthcare Provider Protections, is sponsored by state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque. The bill would provide protections to abortion care providers and to patients from entities outside of the state trying to subpoena information or harass providers or patients involved in abortion care in New Mexico. The bill cosponsor, state Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, brought a committee substitute for the bill which removed redundancies and brought clarifications around intentionality in the bill. The bill seeks to codify Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s executive order put in place last year that currently protects abortion providers and patients seeking abortion from interference from out-of-state entities, a concern that increased after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and states across the country began passing anti-abortion laws.
“This puts into law the policy we have that every person who receives reproductive healthcare and gender-affirming care can do so safely and free from harassment and that other states do not interfere,” Sedillo Lopez said.
A bill to protect abortion and gender-affirming care providers from out-of-state forces passed the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee by a 5-3 party vote on Wednesday. SB 13, seeks to protect abortion providers and gender-affirming care providers in New Mexico from civil or criminal liability and from discrimination by licensing boards and from other states where reproductive care or gender-affirming care are not protected. State Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, is the bill’s primary sponsor. This is the second of two reproductive rights bills introduced into the Legislature this session. The first one to go through committee hearings, HB 7, Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Healthcare, passed the House floor Tuesday evening by a vote of 38 to 31.