New Mexico city passes anti-abortion ordinance, calls itself ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’ News
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New Mexico city passes anti-abortion ordinance, calls itself ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’

The City of Hobbs, New Mexico Monday passed an ordinance to prevent abortion providers from being granted business licenses or operating in the city in any capacity. At the state level, abortion is legal in New Mexico. The ordinance passed 7-0 and requires businesses to follow federal laws like 18 U.S.C § 1461, which bans mailing any item that can “be used or applied for producing abortion.”

Generally, this provision is considered unenforceable, but Hobbs is not alone in trying to ban abortion through section 1461. So-called “sanctuary cities for the unborn” aim to take advantage of the recent overturning of Roe v Wade in order to criminalize abortion within their borders.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) condemned the vote and referenced the out-of-state activists who petitioned for the law. She stated:

Tonight the Hobbs City Commission approved an anti-abortion resolution authored by out-of-state extremists seeking to criminalize essential reproductive health care. This is an affront to the rights & personal autonomy of every woman in New Mexico, and we will not stand for it… Providers delivering health care have every right to establish a practice, and all women have the right to access abortion services – no matter where in New Mexico they call home.

New Mexico’s neighboring state Texas enacted trigger laws that took effect after Roe was overturned. These laws banned abortion immediately and enacted civil fines and felony charges for those who break the law. Abortion clinics in Texas were therefore forced to close their doors and move to states like New Mexico.