FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2021
CONTACT: Kelly Novak, [email protected]

Legislative Success Builds on Multi-year Efforts to Elect
Champions Who Would Stand Up for Reproductive Freedom

NEW YORK – The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and NIRH Action Fund applaud New Mexico advocates, legislators, and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for repealing the state’s criminal abortion ban – a measure that predates the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.  Enactment of Senate Bill 10 is a critical step toward protecting reproductive freedom in New Mexico – a critical access point for reproductive health care in the southwest – especially with the balance of the Supreme Court titled firmly away from abortion rights.

“Abortion bans that remain on the law books – no matter how ‘dormant’ or unenforced – represent a real danger to the people seeking abortion care and medical providers,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health and NIRH Action Fund. “With the future of abortion access uncertain at the federal level, state and local governments have a mandate to protect and expand access to care. New Mexico took a critical step forward by repealing this ban, reminding us all that elections matter.  We encourage other states to follow suit and look forward to working with our state-level partners to secure new wins and elect new champions in 2021 and beyond.”

Anti-abortion Democrats had for years blocked critical legislation related to reproductive health and abortion access in New Mexico. So, in recent election cycles, the NIRH Action Fund worked with Forward Together Action and Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico to support challengers who ran on a proactive reproductive justice platform. Victories in 2018 paved the way for a House vote to repeal the abortion ban in 2019, but the measure failed in the state Senate – prompting a new wave of challengers in 2020.  The resulting majority – which finally repealed the abortion ban – better represents the views of 77 percent of New Mexicans who respect a woman’s personal decisions about abortion and want it to remain between a woman and her health care provider.

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The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund (NIRH Action Fund) are advocacy groups that fight to protect and advance just and equitable access to reproductive health care and build political power for reproductive freedom. Working hand-in-hand with reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in states and cities across the country, NIRH and NIRH Action Fund build coalitions, launch campaigns, change policy, and elect candidates who stand up for everyone’s right to control their reproductive lives,. Their strategy is to go on the offensive to pass laws that safeguard reproductive freedom. They work in the communities where change is needed, so the fabric of reproductive freedom becomes harder to tear apart.