New Mexico AG seeks to codify abortion rights, nullify bans

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s top prosecutor on Monday asked the state Supreme Court to nullify abortion ordinances that local elected officials have passed in recent

months in conservative reaches of the Democratic-led state. Attorney General Raúl Torrez urged the high court to intervene against ordinances that he said overstep local

government authority to regulate health care access, and violate the New Mexico Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. At a news conference, Torrez

said the ordinances are significant even in regions with no abortion clinics because they threaten to restrict access to reproductive health care in people's homes. More than half

of U.S. abortions are now done with pills rather than surgery. “This is not Texas. Our State Constitution does not allow cities, counties or private citizens to restrict

women’s reproductive rights,” Torrez said in a statement. “Today’s action sends a strong message that my office will use every available tool to swiftly and decisively uphold

individual liberties against unconstitutional overreach.” It’s not clear how soon the New Mexico Supreme Court could decide to take up the issue. Torrez said he hopes his

petition to the Supreme Court will inspire a quick response within weeks or months — avoiding the potentially yearslong process of pursuing a civil lawsuit. The filing

targets Roosevelt and Lea counties, and the cities of Hobbs and Clovis — all on the eastern edge of the state near the Texas border. Messages seeking comment were left

Monday with officials in the four communities.