[UPDATED] Session 2017 Recap: How Did Progress for Women Do?

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UPDATE: Here’s how three important bills we were tracking ended up this session: (1) Health Coverage for Contraception (HB 284) – a bill aiming to expand contraceptive access by covering both women and men and requiring insurance companies to cover up to one year’s supply of contraception at once – passed the House and one Senate committee but wasn’t voted on by the whole Senate. (2) Hospital Patient Protections (SB 282) would have prevented New Mexico hospitals (often religious institutions) from blocking reproductive health care that could put a patient’s life or health in danger. It, however, was not voted on by the full Senate. (3) In a major win, the Pregnant Worker Accommodation Act (HB 179) passed both houses and now awaits action by the Governor. This important bill will ensure pregnant workers will be able to continue working and support their families while they are pregnant.

Reproductive rights are human rights, and New Mexicans know it. While in places like Ohio, where a lawmaker referred to women as “hosts” and proposed a bill where fathers must approve of abortions, the women of New Mexico and their families are the big winners of the 2017 New Mexico Legislature proving that all aspects of a woman’s reproductive life is critical, even the right to a safe and legal abortion. After a battle of words, often late into the night, champions of women’s health fought to expand the rights of women across the state now wait on the final verdicts as the bills pile up on the Governor’s desk.

Riding the momentum of the Women’s March on Washington, the Respect NM Women Campaign was launched on February 7 to champion three bills that would expand the reproductive rights of women.  

Our partners including Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Young Women United, Strong Families and ProgressNowNM banded together to during the Session to protect the reproductive rights of New Mexico women. State Representatives Gail Chasey, Deborah A. Armstrong, Joanne J. Ferrary worked tirelessly to champion these bills.

In the end, both chambers sent a bill to governor guaranteeing new accommodations for pregnant women.

Others guaranteeing 12-month birth control access for women and repealing New Mexico’s antiquated prohibitions on abortions passed critical first votes but failed to see final votes before the session expired.

Expert Witness SWWLC Attorney Sarah Coffey and Legislator Gail Chasey fight for the Pregnant Women’s Accommodations Act on the Roundhouse Floor.

Did you know? ProgressNowNM has a full-time staffer working to track these bills and support the work of partners including Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Strong Families and Young Women United.  We are watching the legislature so you don’t have to.

Donate to support our work today.

Our partners not only delivered bills to the legislature affirming a woman’s right to decide, they faced head-on three Draconian abortion bills presented by the conservative opponents working to limit a woman’s right to an abortion later in a pregnancy. The “Born Alive Bill,” and the “20-Week Abortion Ban” were both struck down in the Roundhouse, after hours of testimony and hundreds of witnesses.

Not a free seat in the Gallery as the 20-Week Abortion Ban is challenged.