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New Mexico Abortion Laws and How They Differ From Neighboring States 

By    |   Wednesday, 05 August 2015 06:13 PM

They call New Mexico the “Land of Enchantment,” and reproduction rights advocates couldn’t be blamed for feeling more enchanted with New Mexico’s abortion laws than those of its neighboring states. People on both sides of the issue agree New Mexico has less-restrictive abortion laws than its bordering states of Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade case gave women the right to an abortion and began an era in which states have been responsible for establishing their own specific abortion regulations. New Mexico responded by adopting abortion laws that left it ranked by NARAL Pro-Choice America for 2013 as the nation’s 11th best state in terms of maintaining laws that protect reproductive rights. That organization gave New Mexico a grade of "A-" for its reproductive rights laws. Among New Mexico’s bordering states, NARAL gave national rankings of 22nd to Colorado, 26th to Arizona, 36th to Oklahoma, and 37th to Texas.

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Meanwhile, the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life listed New Mexico in January as being the nation’s 40th most-protective (meaning 11th least-protective) state in terms of its anti-abortion legislation. A chart released by AUL indicated it considered all four of New Mexico’s neighboring states to have more protective abortion laws. AUL indicated that among New Mexico’s neighbors, it considered Colorado 22nd least-protective, Arizona 39th least-protective, Texas 41st least-protective and Oklahoma 47th least-protective.

One area in which New Mexico lacks restrictiveness is that it doesn’t require parental notification or consent for a minor to have an abortion, according to the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute. A law the state’s legislators approved requiring parental notice was ruled unenforceable by New Mexico’s attorney general. Among New Mexico’s neighbors, Guttmacher reported, Arizona requires parental consent, Texas and Oklahoma require notification and consent, and Colorado requires notification.

New Mexico bans partial-birth abortions but that restriction applies only after the fetus has attained viability, the Guttmacher Institute indicated. Guttmacher said partial-birth abortions are legal in Colorado and Texas but banned in Arizona and Oklahoma, adding that the Oklahoma ban – because of the broad nature of its language – remains unchallenged but is presumably unenforceable under a 2000 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a Nebraska ban.

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They call New Mexico the "Land of Enchantment," and reproduction rights advocates couldn’t be blamed for feeling more enchanted with New Mexico’s abortion laws than those of its neighboring states.
new mexico, abortion, laws, neighboring, states
Wednesday, 05 August 2015 06:13 PM
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