New Mexico challenges city abortion ordinances

Multiple cities, including Hobbs and Clovis, approved new measures intended to block abortion clinics from opening in those clinics.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 10:56 PM CST
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HOBBS, New Mexico (KCBD) - The Attorney General of New Mexico is challenging recent anti-abortion city and county ordinances. Multiple cities, including Hobbs and Clovis, approved new measures intended to block abortion clinics from opening in those communities.

These ordinances include language requiring any business that wants to provide abortions to abide by a part of federal law that prevents the shipping of abortion medication.

Abortions are legal in New Mexico, and Attorney General Raul Torrez calls that a misinterpretation of a 19th-century law.

“This, ladies and gentlemen, is not Texas. In this state, a woman’s right to choose is guaranteed by the New Mexico constitution. No city, no county, and no private citizen is empowered in our constitutional order to deprive a woman of that constitutional right.”

Torrez is asking the state’s Supreme Court to override those ordinances claiming they prevent the state from regulating healthcare.

City leaders in Hobbs insist their ordinances are legal and represent the will of the people. City attorney Efren Cortez says the ordinance does not “ban abortions” but instead anticipates a clinic will come to Hobbs. Cortez says the ordinance only sets minimum requirements to get a business license to operate.

Mayor Sam Cobb insists the city supports women’s rights unequivocally.