Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

On the final complete day of the 2023 legislative session, the second key piece of reproductive and gender-affirming rights legislation passed the Residence by a 38-30 vote.

SB 13, sponsored by state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, now heads to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk.

The Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Well being Care Protection Act protects providers and sufferers from other states’ efforts to subpoena for provider or patient information and facts as aspect of an investigation into reproductive or gender-affirming care exactly where that activity is not protected. The bill seeks to defend reproductive and gender-affirming care sufferers and providers from civil or criminal liability and to defend reproductive healthcare providers from discrimination by expert licensing boards.

SB 13 is a single of two reproductive and gender-affirming rights bills introduced in this legislative session. The other bill, the Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Healthcare Act, prohibits public bodies from passing ordinances that would ban or place roadblocks in front of reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare. Lujan Grisham signed it into law on Thursday. She is anticipated to sign SB 13 into law as effectively. 

The bill codifies Lujan Grisham’s executive order that she created final summer season inside days of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. If she indicators SB 13 bill, it would assure that these protections will continue regardless of who is governor.

The 3-hour debate on the Residence floor centered about other states’ rights as effectively problems about totally free speech and the ideal of religious organizations to protest or send electronic information and facts about their disapproval of reproductive or gender-affirming care. Republican State Rep. Stefani Lord, of Sandia Park, asked if SB 13 is intended to be “an abortion shield law?”

State Rep. Andrea Romero, D-Santa Fe, who presented the bill on the Residence floor, mentioned “whatever you want to contact it, yes, we affirmatively defend what’s legal right here and will continue to be legal right here.”

“We’re a sovereign state we make our personal laws. We’re speaking about an overreach of jurisdiction in unchartered territory,” Romero mentioned of other states attempting to criminalize or penalize abortion or gender-affirming care in other states.

State Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque, asked if New Mexico would cooperate with a subpoena issued from a different state concerning a licensed reproductive or gender-affirming care provider.

Romero mentioned New Mexico would “not submit private information and facts about that practice for a different state looking for it.”

State Rep. Greg Nibert, R-Roswell, referred to as the legislation a “carve out from our common notions of complete faith and credit” to respond to legal orders from other states.

Romero mentioned that reproductive and gender-affirming care is “being attacked in other states.”

State Rep. John Block, R-Alamogordo, asked what are the “specific attacks on New Mexico that have gone on that is generating this a priority?”

Romero mentioned other states, mainly Texas, are passing legislation that criminalizes and permits civil penalties against reproductive and gender-affirming care providers and these looking for the care, as effectively as these who assist people looking for care. Romero mentioned there have been a lot more than 400 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced this year, so far, and 15 states are restricting or thinking of restricting gender-affirming care access.

“That’s precisely why we want this law,” Romero mentioned.

State Rep. Rod Montoya, R-Farmington, attempted to argue that the legislation impinges on the ideal to totally free speech. Romero disagreed.

“It is about private healthcare information and facts. It is narrowly drafted in this law. We do not touch on totally free speech, we’re guarding healthcare information and facts,” Romero mentioned.

Montoya introduced two amendments to the bill. The initially would have struck a section that he mentioned would maintain people or entities from legally protesting or sharing electronic information and facts that is damaging towards a reproductive or gender-affirming provider or clinic.

That amendment never ever received a vote. Residence Speaker Javier Martinez, D-Albuquerque, mentioned Montoya was out of order and referred him to the guidelines of the Residence but did not elaborate.

The Residence debated Montoya’s amendment for various minutes just before he withdrew it and created a second try to amend the bill by striking the word “entity,” for the reason that he mentioned the ideal of religious organizations or people “to say unflattering issues about procedures they come across morally reprehensible” was becoming impacted.

Romero referred to as the amendment “very unfriendly” and mentioned this amendment “would let for harassment.”

The debate on the amendment went more than the 3-hour debate limit on the Residence floor, top to a disagreement among Montoya and Martinez more than Montoya’s capacity to make closing remarks. Martinez mentioned the Residence had closed debate, was more than the 3-hour debate limit and that his time had run out.

The Residence tabled the amendment by 43-24 vote.

By Editor