On Friday, New Mexico passed two laws to expand reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare safeguards.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed HB 7 and SB 13 in 2023. Reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare seekers cannot be discriminated against under HB 7. SB 13, the New Mexico shield law, protects doctors and consumers from legal or criminal responsibility for abortion or gender-affirming care. It prevents specialty licensing boards from discriminating against reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare practitioners.
The shield law was sponsored by Albuquerque state Sen. Linda Lopez and the healthcare anti-discrimination measure by Santa Fe state Rep. Linda Serrato. Both Democrats.
Lopez and Serrato were happy to push these proposals through the Assembly.
Serrato described passing the measure.
The entire journey, the lengthy effort to reach where we were, it finally seems complete. She stated it was amazing to watch it happen.
Lopez called the shield law “needed.”
“It’s crucial. “Especially because of our neighboring states’ laws,” she stated.
Texas and Oklahoma outlaw abortion. Arizona outlawed after 15 weeks. Arizona has TRAP [Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers] legislation that limit access to care. Colorado allows abortion.
She stated the legislation took decades to pass.
HB 7 and SB 13 are two of numerous legislation that became law on Friday that affect bodily autonomy and human freedoms. [List below.] Rushforth called the passage of these measures a “culture shift and an understanding that everybody deserves the tools to engage in society as a whole person.”
“Whether the legislation supports young girls and women going to school and accessing menstrual products to stay in class or protects students from discrimination. Not little bills. “It was an amazing effort and shows how public policy can improve people’s lives and participation in society,” Rushforth remarked.
The Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Healthcare Act takes effect while tiny New Mexico towns seek mail-order abortion bans. Attorney General Raúl Torrez sued and urged the state Supreme Court to review those ordinances after the Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Healthcare Act passed. The court is considering those questions.
The Secretary of State and New Mexico Attorney General declared the referendum unconstitutional.
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The shield bill will make Lujan Grisham’s first reproductive rights executive order law in New Mexico regardless of who succeeds her in 2026.
“The governor will continue to be a staunch advocate for reproductive rights and abortion access in New Mexico,” spokesperson Caroline Sweeney said in an email.
This year, Lopez heard from health professionals, notably obstetrics and gynecological specialists, that Texas and other states that restrict abortion have a “chilling effect” because they penalize abortion care providers.
“For those in New Mexico who need abortion care services or gender-affirming care, we want our healthcare providers to not feel intimidated, to not be worried to do their job to provide healthcare services,” Lopez added.
Lopez termed the shield law “unique.”
“If someone comes here [from a restrictive state] for abortion or gender-affirming care, it protects their healthcare record. Lopez added that personal information is always crucial.
Serrato said both measures “just really making sure we have the right to healthcare.”
This improves long-term results for many pregnant and trans persons. On Friday, more individuals will be relieved this is law. “This is where we want to be,” Serrato remarked.
Friday’s other reproductive justice laws
HB 27, introduced by state Rep. Christine Chandler, D-Los Alamos, removes cost sharing for diagnostic and supplementary breast exams for health insurance holders.
HB 31, introduced by state Rep. Christine Chandler, D-Los Alamos, removes an outdated statute that required name changes to be published in a local newspaper.
HB 134, introduced by state Rep. Christine Trujillo, D-Albuquerque, mandates free menstruation products in New Mexico public schools.
HB 207, Expand Human Rights Act, introduced by state Rep. Kristina Ortez, D-Taos, amends the New Mexico Human Rights Act to prevent public entities from discrimination.
SB 64, sponsored by state Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, permits juveniles imprisoned as adults for severe offenses to request a parole hearing after 15 years.
SB 132, sponsored by state Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, removes health insurance cost sharing for STI prevention and treatment.
SB 397, introduced by state Sen. Nancy Rodriguez, D-Santa Fe, legalizes school-based health facilities.