New Mexico Blocks 20-Week Ban, Parental Involvement Bills

A bit of good news: last week, after four hours of debate, the New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee blocked two extreme, politically-motivated anti-choice bills. The bills would have banned abortion care after 20 weeks and would have required patients under 18 years old to notify their parents at least 48 hours before they could obtain an abortion. Both of these bills ignore the realities of pregnancy and women’s lives, and would have taken important medical decisions away from patients and their medical providers and put them in the hands of politicians.

We know that women need to access abortion care after 20 weeks for a variety reasons, and must have the ability to make the decisions that are right for them, in consultation with their health care providers. The narrow exceptions in the bill would have forced health care providers to ignore the health care needs of their patients in order to comply with the political agendas of anti-choice legislators.

Unfortunately, involving a parent is not a realistic option for many young women who come from homes that are emotionally or physically abusive, or for those who are victims of rape or incest. Family communication cannot be legislated, and restricting teens’ access to safe, legal abortion care places their health and safety at risk.

Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, who lost two pregnancies at 26 weeks due to the fetuses not developing lungs spoke out against the legislation: “I am kind of ashamed of what we’re talking about today.” She continued, adding that the conversation should be about taking care of babies that are born. “Instead we want to look at imposing restrictions on a very small number of women.”

Read more about politically-motivated, medically unnecessary , and harmful legislation being pushed at the state-level around the country.

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