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New Mexico Governor issues order to protect access to abortion

Santa Fe, June 28 (IANS) New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed an executive order to protect women seeking abortions and abortion providers in the US state after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that safeguarded women’s reproductive rights.

“Residents seeking access will be protected, providers will be protected, and abortion is and will continue to be legal, safe and accessible, period,” the Democratic governor, who is running for a second term in November, said at a news conference on Monday.

According to the order, New Mexico will seek to shield health care professionals targeted by lawsuits from losing their licenses or being disciplined for providing abortion services, and will not comply with abortion-related warrants or extradition requests from other states.

Local newspaper Albuquerque Journal said the executive order “could be repealed by a future Governor”.

Further steps such as codifying abortion rights in state statute and providing additional public health funding could be pursued during the 60-day legislative session that starts in January, said the governor.

The US was in a “national battle” over women’s abortion rights, she said, as a number of states move quickly to protect access to abortion, while “trigger” bans are taking effect in many other states.

New Mexico’s legislators last year repealed a 1969 abortion ban, which had been unenforceable because of the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Abortion remains a highly divisive issue across the US.

A recent Pew survey found that 61 per cent of adults believe abortion all of most of the time, compared to 37 per cent who say it should be illegal.

–IANS
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