NM House passes bill focused on reproductive and gender-affirming health care

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SANTA FE, N.M. – House Bill 7, focused on reproductive and gender-affirming health care, passed the House by just seven votes Tuesday night, after a three-hour debate on the House floor.

The bill doesn’t directly protect access to abortion and other gender-affirming care, but it does block local governments and other public bodies from getting in the way of it. 

They would not be able to discriminate against people seeking services like abortion and fertility treatments, and other services like hormone therapy and certain surgeries.

Legislators introduced four amendments to this bill Tuesday, but all of them failed. Representatives from both sides of the aisle had passionate conversations about every aspect of the bill, and what it could do for so many in our state– both positives and negatives.

“Right now there are 300 pieces of legislation all around the country including in this body right now that will further stigmatize harm and shame trans and non-binary young people. We are not that state and those are not our values. We must set the example and protect our trans and non-binary folks,” said Rep. Kristina Ortez of District 42 in Taos. 

“It just says to all those individuals who live in our state including in counties where they’re considering proposals like this that you are seen, and you are respected,” said Rep. Linda Serrato of District 45, and one of the bill’s sponsors. 

Rep. Ryan Lane, Minority floor leader, introduced two amendments. After they failed, he closed in part, saying, “I think we should be concerned as a state once we enact this bill as law. Sadly, I think we’re unnecessarily pitting parents against their children when it comes to very important and vital medical decisions, and I’m concerned about sweeping in other people other than medical providers when we start getting into the classroom, when we start getting into the local government arena.”

The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration.

Track HB 7 during the legislative session.