March 29, 2023 10:59 pm

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 individuals from other states’ efforts to subpoena for provider or patient info as component of an investigation into reproductive or gender-affirming care exactly where that activity is not protected. The bill seeks to safeguard reproductive and gender-affirming care individuals and providers from civil or criminal liability and to safeguard reproductive healthcare providers from discrimination by skilled licensing boards.

SB 13 is one particular 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 nicely. 

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 make sure that these protections will continue regardless of who is governor.

The 3-hour debate on the Residence floor centered about other states’ rights as nicely problems about totally free speech and the suitable of religious organizations to protest or send electronic info 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, stated “whatever you want to contact it, yes, we affirmatively safeguard 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 stated 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 one more state relating to a licensed reproductive or gender-affirming care provider.

Romero stated New Mexico would “not submit private info about that practice for one more 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 stated 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 creating this a priority?”

Romero stated other states, mostly Texas, are passing legislation that criminalizes and enables civil penalties against reproductive and gender-affirming care providers and these looking for the care, as nicely as these who enable people looking for care. Romero stated there have been a lot more than 400 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced this year, so far, and 15 states are restricting or taking into consideration restricting gender-affirming care access.

“That’s precisely why we have to have this law,” Romero stated.

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

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

Montoya introduced two amendments to the bill. The initial would have struck a section that he stated would retain people or entities from legally protesting or sharing electronic info that is unfavorable towards a reproductive or gender-affirming provider or clinic.

That amendment never ever received a vote. Residence Speaker Javier Martinez, D-Albuquerque, stated 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 a number of minutes prior to he withdrew it and created a second try to amend the bill by striking the word “entity,” for the reason that he stated the suitable of religious organizations or people “to say unflattering factors about procedures they uncover morally reprehensible” was getting impacted.

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

The debate on the amendment went more than the 3-hour debate limit on the Residence floor, major to a disagreement amongst Montoya and Martinez more than Montoya’s potential to make closing remarks. Martinez stated 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.

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