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Local Leagues in New Mexico


Legislative Priorities for Reproductive Rights 2019

In the 2019 Legislative Session LWVNM supports: decriminalization of abortion

League of Women Voters Position

The League of Women Voters believes that public policy in a pluralistic society must affirm the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices. LWVNM supports legislation that acknowledges the need for reproductive health care and opposes legislation designed to eliminate access to safe and legal abortion.

The Issue

Few people realize that there is language in New Mexico statutes that criminalizes abortion. Annotations in the text of the compiled statutes point out that much of the language has been considered unconstitutional in the wake of the Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court decision of 1973. Nevertheless, it is time to remove this archaic language from New Mexico law.

What would the legislation do?

The proposed legislation would decriminalize abortion by repealing the all language regarding the criminalization of abortion in state statute, 30-5-1 through 30-5-3 NMSA 1978. The sections to be removed state the following:

Section 30-5-1: Defines terms, including “justified medical termination” (in cases of rape or incest, continuing the pregnancy will result in death or grave mental health impairment of the mother, severe mental or physical defects in the fetus) and “special hospital board.”

Section 30-5-2: Neither hospitals nor persons are to be required to participate in any abortion procedure if against their moral or religious beliefs.

Section 30-5-3: Defines criminal abortion as causing the termination of pregnancy when a pregnancy is terminated when it is not a “justified medical termination.” Prescribes penalties for abortion providers.

Contact Information: Diane Goldfarb (505)-239-9478

Judith Williams (505) 920-7817