The future of abortion rights in New Mexico

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SANTA FE, N.M. — The future of abortion rights in New Mexico depends on the balance of power at the Roundhouse.

According to UNM political science professor Tim Krebs, Republicans would have to control the majority to change abortion laws, after lawmakers repealed a decades-old abortion ban last year.

“I think the first thing that would have to happen is the republicans would have to have a majority in both the house and the senate and they’ve have to control the governor’s office. And that’s a pretty tall order. It hasn’t happened in a very long time, if ever in the state of New Mexico,” said Krebs.

Still, Speaker of the House Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, is aware of the possibility.

“We’re already seeing today Republican candidates for the state house making the pitch on social media to elect republicans so that we can ban abortion in New Mexico. It is all the ballot,” said Egolf during a virtual news conference with pro-choice advocates. “A vote for a republican this fall is a vote to roll back rights and to put women’s healthcare at risk for the next generation.”

Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce is applauding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.

“I’m hearing a lot of comments that it’s a pro-Democrat decision that’s going to help them in the election, it’s going to hurt Republicans, it’s going to help Republicans, I don’t think any of that applies,” he said. “I think it’s just a win for the unborn.”

Pearce said if Republicans do eventually gain control at the Roundhouse,  they’d start with restrictions and not an all-out ban.

“I think the beginning point is just to take away the late term abortion. That’s the starting point. 80% of voters – Democrat, Republican, and independent – dislike late term abortions up to and including the day of birth, yet that’s what’s taking place here in New Mexico.”