• Press Release

EMILYs List Statement on NM Legislature Repealing Abortion Ban

February 22, 2021

For Immediate Release
February 22, 2021

EMILYs List Statement on NM Legislature Repealing Abortion Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last Friday, New Mexico state legislators passed a bill to repeal the state’s 1969 anti-abortion law. Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILYs List, released the following statement:

“This hard-won victory for New Mexico’s women and families is undoubtedly the result of a state legislature that is majority pro-choice Democrats. We are proud to see lawmakers and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham delivering on their promise to repeal the outdated, dangerous law. This type of progress is exactly why EMILYs List is committed to electing more Democratic pro-choice women up and down the ballot in states across the country.”


Albuquerque Journal: Abortion-rights bill on way to governor’s desk
By Dan McKay
February 19th, 2021

SANTA FE — New Mexico lawmakers ended a bruising, two-year debate Friday with passage of a bill repealing the state’s 1969 anti-abortion law — delivering on a longtime priority of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The legislation, Senate Bill 10, won approval in the House 40-30 on Friday and now goes to the governor’s desk.

Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena, D-Mesilla, said passage of the bill would guarantee abortion rights, in case the U.S. Supreme Court revisits its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.

“I know we can each hold our own personal beliefs about abortion and still fundamentally trust New Mexicans to make these private decisions for themselves,” Lara Cadena, a co-sponsor of the bill, said during Friday’s three-hour debate.

Speaking shortly before the vote, Lujan Grisham said she would sign the bill as soon as it reaches her desk. Decriminalizing abortion, she said, could save women’s lives.


The legislation repeals a state law — now largely unenforceable — making it a crime to end a woman’s pregnancy, except in certain circumstances, such as rape. The law on the books also says the procedure must be approved in writing by a hospital board.

Lujan Grisham, a Democrat and former state health secretary, has pushed for repeal of the criminal abortion law since taking office in 2019.

“This is about women who deserve the right to participate (in an abortion) when there are untenable circumstances, and to have a relationship with their provider and with their own bodies,” Lujan Grisham told reporters during a remote news briefing.

Debate over the bill has reshaped the composition of the Legislature. It emerged as a key issue in the 2020 primary election, when five Democratic senators who opposed the measure lost to challengers from the left.

House action on the bill Friday came about a week after it cleared the Senate 25-17 last week.


Democrats said the bill was necessary to ensure no woman has to seek a back-alley or unsafe abortion.

“We don’t want to go back to the days when I was a teenager — when women had to take their chances,” Rep. Joanne Ferrary, D-Las Cruces, said during Friday’s debate.

Rep. Georgene Louis, an Albuquerque Democrat and member of Acoma Pueblo, said passage of the bill would be an important step for Native American and other women who have faced a history of sterilization without informed consent.

“Women in New Mexico, especially Indigenous women, have long had their health care decisions taken away from them,” Louis said.

Friday’s passage of the measure marks a reversal from the outcome just two years ago. Eight Democratic senators crossed party lines in 2019 to join all 16 Republicans to reject the bill.

Just two of those eight Democrats remain in office.

The lead Senate sponsors this year were Senate Majority Whip Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, and Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe.


Read the full article here.

EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $700 million to elect pro-choice Democratic women candidates. With a grassroots community of over five million members, EMILY's List helps Democratic women win competitive campaigns – across the country and up and down the ballot – by recruiting and training candidates, supporting and helping build strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, running nearly $50 million in independent expenditures in the last cycle alone, and turning out women voters and voters of color to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect the country's first woman as vice president, 157 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 16 governors, and more than 1,300 women to state and local office. More than 40 percent of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. After the 2016 election, more than 60,000 women reached out to EMILY's List about running for office laying the groundwork for the next decade of candidates for local, state, and national offices. In our effort to elect more women in offices across the country, we have created our Run to Win program, expanded our training program, including a Training Center online, and trained thousands of women.