A bill amending the state’s laws governing reproductive healthcare previously passed the New Mexico House in February. It was also approved by the state Senate on Tuesday.
The legislative initiative was hailed by supporters as backing life-saving care during the hours-long debate that preceded the vote. The law, according to critics, will violate parents’ rights and might be harmful to children.
House Bill 7, which has the support of five Democratic legislators, outlaws discrimination against people who seek or reject reproductive health care services by public organizations (such as counties and towns) and those working on their behalf.
It covers a variety of services, such as infertility care and abortion.
The proposal would also make it illegal for governmental institutions and people acting on their behalf to obstruct (even covertly) someone’s access to reproductive healthcare. The legislation would guarantee comparable defenses for those looking for care that is gender-affirming.
This is defined as “psychological, behavioral, surgical, pharmacological, and medical care, along with services and supplies given to promote a person’s gender identification” under the legislation.
This covers a variety of services, such as prescription medications for puberty.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 7, the Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Health Care Act, into law Thursday morning. #nmleg #nmpol https://t.co/mhBBkbnDBG
— KOB 4 (@KOB4) March 17, 2023
Before a vote, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle exchanged passionate sentiments when the bill was introduced to the Senate floor on Tuesday afternoon.
Two weeks prior, the bill was approved by the House on a 38-to-31 vote with six Democrats who voted in opposition and no Republican votes.
Democratic Sen. Katy M. Duhigg clarified during the discussion on Tuesday that the bill doesn’t force doctors to provide any additional services beyond the ones they now provide.
All this statute does is prohibit public entities from restricting access to that care. It is not necessary for a supplier to expressly offer it, according to Duhigg.
Today, March 16, 2023, the House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee voted along party lines, 13-to-5, to advance House Bill 7 (Protection of Unborn Children After 6-Weeks’ Gestation), with all Republican subcommittee members in support and all Democrat subcommittee members in… https://t.co/OBtM8JCCN5 pic.twitter.com/eU9I5l7RuU
— Florida Voice for the Unborn (@UnbornVoiceFL) March 16, 2023
What this law does is assure that local governments can’t prevent accessibility to reproductive or gender-affirming services.
GOP Sen. William E. Sharer attempted to change the legislation so that it would no longer refer to “perinatal” care as a specific category of reproductive health care.
Sharer argued that the term “perinatal” ought to be excluded from the bill’s definition of “reproductive health care” because it refers to things that happen after delivery.
“That wasn’t a planned abortion. This is additionally not healthcare for women,” according to Sharer. “It is child abuse.”
In response to Sharer’s remarks, Democratic Sen. Ortiz Y Pino argued that Sharer’s definition is wrong. It refers to the time just before birth.
Hence, it covers the weeks leading up to, during, and following delivery. It is a phrase that is used to refer to all facets of providing healthcare to a woman giving birth or to someone who is experiencing a high-risk pregnancy.
Sharer remained steadfast in his conviction that should the bill become law, infanticide would be permitted, with him quoting scripture to further emphasize his position. In the end, he was unsuccessful in getting “perinatal” removed.