It’s Been 49 Years Since Roe v. Wade, And It’s Still 1973

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It’s been 49 years since  Roe v. Wade , a landmark decision that protects a pregnant person’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without government restriction.

But it feels more like we’re in the years prior to Roe in 1973 as we have seen state after state pass dangerous legislation barring pregnant people from accessing abortion.

Some folx in the movement have signaled that this may be the last Roe anniversary we celebrate. And as we wait for the conservative  Supreme Court Justices to announce their decisions over Texas’ Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson; United States v. Texas; and Mississippis’ Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health Organization in June, we’re, to say the least, worried.

 

New Mexico & Abortion

New Mexicans can rest easy knowing that abortion is safe and secure (not so much accessible, but more on that later) as we repealed an antiquated abortion ban from the 1960s during the 2021 NM Legislative Session.

While our providers and clinics have maintained the influx of Texas patients, operating with only five clinics throughout our entire state, New Mexicans have committed to abortion access. We’ve donated to Texas abortion funds and New Mexico abortion funds like Mariposa Fund, Indigenous Women Rising and New Mexico Religious Coalition for Choice. ProgressNow New Mexico has also partnered up with Noise for Now in their creation of the “Don’t Snitch On My Snatch” merch with 100% of the proceeds going to abortion funds in both states! As other states face more restrictive laws or try to ban abortion outright, we need to make sure our state is doing everything we can to protect access—we’ve been loud and proud about our support for pregnant people making their own decisions for themselves and their families.

We do it because New Mexicans respect access to essential health care, including abortion care. We know that access to abortion is not just about legality, it is about our dignity, our humanity, and our freedom.

 

States Chipping Away at Roe

Even as we await the Justices’ decision, anti-choice extremists will stop at nothing to harm people seeking reproductive care, including abortion care. 

Despite Roe, politicians in several states have passed laws and created obstacles to care that treat people differently. By introducing over 400 anti-abortion measures this year alone, anti-choice extremists have place dangerous legislation over pregnant people. With TRAP laws, so called “heartbeat” bills and even personhood bills that go further into contraception, lawmakers’ extremism brings a serious precedence over our bodily autonomy.

And we know that abortion bans and restrictions are designed to hurt people who are working to make ends meet, and fall hardest on Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, LGBTQ people, and young people.

With At least 21 states are poised to immediately ban or severely restrict access to abortion if Roe falls, many are asking, “could this be the last anniversary of Roe v. Wade?”

 

What Do We Do?

Recently, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sent Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, challenging Texas’ six-week ban on abortion back to the Texas Supreme Court. In addition to this delay, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade into law and would halt state and local attacks on reproductive rights, is stuck in the U.S. Senate. 

But we can’t stop now— Contact your Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan who are champions on our abortion rights. Thank them and tell them to hold strong for the Women’s Health Protection Act. 

As the higher courts are battling it out, New Mexicans and others must continue to  support the “Don’t Snitch On My Snatch” campaign, contributing to abortion funds in Texas, Mississippi, and New Mexico, and being loud about our support for reproductive care that includes abortion care. We must also promote education on Self-Managed Abortion, which is a safe and effective resource— both are available through telemed and telehealth in New Mexico. Ultimately, we must envision a world where each of us can make pregnancy and parenting decisions that are best for our lives, whether that’s to continue or end a pregnancy.

In reality, this is an incredibly important time for us to stand in solidarity with folx in our neighboring states and beyond. Access to abortion is not just about legality, it is about our dignity, our humanity, and our freedom— and we won’t stop fighting for it.

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