Texas lawsuit could limit access to abortion pill nationwide

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Abortion remains legal in New Mexico, but access to it could soon become a lot more challenging. 

A current Texas lawsuit challenges the FDA’s approval of the well-known abortion pill, Mifepristone. 

A majority of women seeking abortions in the U.S. take two pills to terminate an early pregnancy, including Mifepristone, followed by Misoprostol.

“Bans on abortion are never about making care safe or protecting people who need care,” said Joan Lamunyon Sanford, executive director of the New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. “They’re always about attempting to make abortion impossible to access. And this could be their closest to achieving that goal.”

“There’s decades of scientific and medical evidence that shows mifepristone is safe and effective for virtually anyone,” said Lamunyon Sanford. 

New Mexico State Rep. Linda Serrato also shared concerns about potential impacts. 

She’s a co-sponsor of House Bill 7, focused on reproductive and gender-affirming care. That bill passed the House floor earlier this week. 

“These decisions really do impact everyday New Mexicans and what we’re looking at doing is ensuring that however we can provide that healthcare in the safest, easiest way, we’re going to continue that work,” said Rep. Serrato.

As this suit about access plays out in Texas, Attorney General Raul Torrez just joined a group of 10 other states suing the FDA for current restrictions on Mifepristone.

“The restrictions don’t make sense under law or science to be imposed. They’re incredibly rare, imposing the restrictions at all,” said Aletheia Allen, solicitor general in the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. “The FDA itself has said that mifepristone is incredibly safe and it is incredibly safe and so there really is no reason for the restrictions.”

The New Mexico Family Action Movement, also known as NM FAM, a pro-life organization, takes a different stance. 

Representatives say, “Chemical abortion drugs are dangerous for both the mother and the baby and we believe the FDA should be required to properly vet such a dangerous drug. It is disappointing that AG Torrez is ignoring the health and welfare of New Mexican women by pushing for less restriction rather than supporting proper vetting of dangerous drugs. The AG seems intent on pushing an ideology rather than providing realistic life-affirming options for women.”

The New Mexico House Republican Caucus also responded, saying, “New Mexico House Republicans have always, and will always, continue to fight for the lives of unborn children in New Mexico. Democrats are the party who have taken the radical approach of mandatory elective abortion up to the moment of birth while also removing standards of care for abortions. New Mexico House Republicans are committed to fighting for women’s health standards in New Mexico.”

Track HB 7 during the legislative session.