Governor signs into law protections for reproductive, gender-affirming health care providers and patients
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law today Senate Bill 13, enshrining in law protections for health care providers and patients in New Mexico. The bill is sponsored by Sens. Linda Lopez, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Nancy Rodriguez, Brenda G. McKenna and Siah Correa Hemphill.
The legislation codifies the protections outlined in Gov. Lujan Grisham’s August 2022 executive order, including prohibiting entities within the state from sharing patient information related to reproductive health care for New Mexico patients and providers.
SB 13 also goes further by prohibiting public bodies from restricting access to abortion and gender-affirming health care.
“We are seeing the rights of individuals seeking critical health care services being quashed in states around the country,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “These policies have real consequences that play out in the lives of American families, and New Mexico is a state that will stand up for the rights of all to access the health care services they need.”
In addition to many states outright banning abortion, some are also enacting policies encouraging citizens to “turn in” those seeking abortion care. Those laws allow private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone else who helps a woman obtain an abortion — even someone that gives a woman a ride to a clinic or provides financial assistance to obtain an abortion.
“While other states continue turning back the clock on reproductive rights and gender affirming care, New Mexico continues to lead with compassion. Every person’s medical privacy deserves to be respected and protected,” said Sen. Linda Lopez. “I want to thank all the co-sponsors and champions who helped craft and support this legislation, and Governor Lujan Grisham for her unwavering commitment to ensuring that no one is criminalized for receiving or providing safe and legal health care.”
Senate Bill 13 was passed with the support of a broad coalition:
“Thanks to the efforts of many community organizations, powerful legislators, and our governor, New Mexico will remain a safe place for patients seeking gender-affirming care and those providing it as part of a comprehensive reproductive healthcare model,” said Heather Smith, Policy Manager of Bold Futures.
“With the signing of SB13, in addition to multiple other bills recently signed, we are proud to live in the safest and most affirming state in the nation for LGBTQ people,” said Marshall Martinez, Executive Director of Equality New Mexico. “Bodily autonomy is the key to our liberation as queer and trans folks and these protections for patients, providers, and all of their support networks is a crucial piece of achieving full autonomy for us all.”
“The passage of SB13 is the product of a values-driven mission of community, legislators, healthcare providers, and legal experts,” said Nayomi Valdez, Director of Public Policy at the ACLU. “This law ensures that every facet of New Mexico’s government is working to protect providers and support patients seeking reproductive or gender affirming healthcare in our state, regardless of other states efforts to criminalize them. The ACLU of New Mexico is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our allies in this incredibly important fight.”
“We are so proud and appreciative that our community, champions in the legislature, and governor sent a clear message today that gender-affirming and reproductive health care are protected in New Mexico,” said Kayla Herring, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. “To our health care providers, thank you for ensuring New Mexicans and those who travel to us receive the compassionate care they deserve. And to our gender expansive community members, we see you, we honor you, we are here for you.”
“People deserve to make healthcare decisions that promote autonomy, dignity, respect, and empowerment. And those decisions, especially reproductive and gender affirming health care, should remain between an individual and their provider,” said Heaven Lee Kim, Reproductive Justice Coordinator for Tewa Women United. “We are grateful to the governor in signing this bill to protect these values for all New Mexicans and folks coming to New Mexico to seek healthcare.”