Posted by on January 23, 2023 5:46 pm
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New Mexico attorney general moves to get local abortion restrictions thrown out

Then-Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez speaks to a panel of lawmakers during a meeting in Albuquerque, N.M., Sept. 27, 2017. Susan Montoya Bryan/AP

New Mexico attorney general moves to get local abortion restrictions thrown out

Abigail Adcox January 23, 05:03 PMJanuary 23, 05:03 PM Video Embed

New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez has asked the state Supreme Court to intervene and nullify ordinances that city and county officials have passed in recent months that restrict access to abortion following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

Torrez argued that local officials in Roosevelt and Lea counties and the cities of Hobbs and Clovis went outside the bounds of their constitutional authority and violated the state constitution’s due process and equal protection guarantees by restricting access to “reproductive healthcare.”

NEW MEXICO EMERGES AS NEW ABORTION BATTLEGROUND

“This is not Texas. Our State Constitution does not allow cities, counties or private citizens to restrict women’s reproductive rights,” Torrez said. “Today’s action should send a strong message that my office will use every available tool to swiftly and decisively uphold individual liberties against unconstitutional overreach.”

Torrez filed an extraordinary writ on Monday asking the high court to override the local ordinances and prohibit local officials from passing similar ordinances.

City officials in Hobbs, which is located on the southeastern corner of the state just four miles from the Texas border, unanimously passed an ordinance last November to stop abortion clinics from operating within the city.

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Abortion is legal at all stages of pregnancy in New Mexico, and its proximity to several Republican-led states has made it a haven for women seeking the procedure. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) has said she would like to codify abortion access in the state and has vowed to be a “brick wall” to any efforts in the state that seek to restrict abortion.

The Mexico Supreme Court has not ruled whether the state constitution guarantees a right to an abortion. It’s unclear if the high court will take up the case.

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