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New Mexico Abortion Laws

Abortion is legal in New Mexico throughout all stages of pregnancy.

New Mexico Abortion Law After Dobbs

In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, ending the constitutional right to abortion at the federal level. The court's decision returned the power to the states to restrict or even prohibit abortion. As a result, state abortion laws related to reproductive healthcare vary.

In New Mexico, the impact of Dobbs was muted. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law a repeal of the state's prior abortion ban in 2021. Lawmakers also removed several restrictions related to abortion.

New Mexico Abortion Laws

In contrast to many other states, New Mexico law provides few abortion restrictions. The state has no waiting period between consent for an abortion and treatment or a medical procedure. State law also does not require abortion providers to engage in detailed informed consent laws that require ultrasounds or printed literature on the development of the fetus and alternatives to abortion.

In 2021, the New Mexico legislature repealed a parental consent law for minors seeking abortion. As a result, according to the state health department, a pregnant minor at age 13 can provide her medical consent for abortion care.

State law maintains a ban on partial-birth abortion. This rare abortion procedure terminates a viable fetus during a delivery. A physician may only use this procedure if they determine it is necessary to prevent great bodily harm or death to the pregnant woman.

The New Mexico state constitution contains a bill of rights that includes an equal rights amendment. The state supreme court has not issued a ruling based on these provisions that protect abortion or reproductive rights.

In a recent case before the high court, New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez sued to prevent cities and counties from passing local ordinances that sought to ban or restrict abortion. Ordinances in question had come from Lea and Roosevelt counties and the cities of Hobbs and Clovis. The state legislature has also passed laws prohibiting public bodies from discriminating against a person based on their use or refusal to use reproductive health care services.

A decision from the state supreme court may settle the issue of what authority, if any, local governments retain in these matters.

New Mexico Abortion Laws at a Glance

The table below provides a summary of the basic provisions of New Mexico's abortion laws.

Relevant New Mexico Abortion Laws

New Mexico Constitution

Article II, Bill of Rights

  • Section 4 - Inalienable Rights
  • Section 18 - Due process; equal protection; sex discrimination

New Mexico Statutes

Chapter 24 - Health and Safety

  • Article 34 - Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Healthcare Freedom Act
  • Article 35 - Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Healthcare Protection Act

Chapter 30 - Criminal Offenses

When Is Abortion Legal?

Abortion is legal at all stages of pregnancy. However, the partial-birth abortion procedure is banned unless necessary to prevent great bodily harm or death to the pregnant woman.

Consent Requirements

There are no consent requirements beyond standard patient consent for a medical procedure.  

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion

An unlawful partial-birth abortion is a fourth-degree felony, punishable by up to 18 months in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

Residency Requirement

There are no state residency requirements for seeking services offered at a New Mexico abortion clinic or through a New Mexico abortion provider.

Is Medication Abortion Available?

Yes. Medication abortion is available in New Mexico.

Physician Licensing Requirements

Licensed physicians and other advanced health care professionals can provide abortion services when authorized under the scope of their practice.

Note: State laws are subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in higher courts that include federal decisions, ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the status of any laws related to reproductive rights that you are reviewing.

How Does New Mexico Compare to Other States?

New Mexico's abortion laws are some of the most permissive in the country. Along with Colorado and four other states, state law in New Mexico provides no gestational age limit for abortion during a pregnancy. As of May 2024, abortion remains legal until fetal viability in the majority of states.

In contrast, Texas and most states in the Southeastern U.S. either have oppressive restrictions or outright bans on abortions.

New Mexico may enact further protections for reproductive decisions in the future. In June 2024, all branches of state government in New Mexico are controlled by officials from the Democratic Party, which supports abortion rights.

In neighboring Arizona, state lawmakers repealed a near-total abortion ban from 1864. Current law there provides a ban at 15 weeks into a pregnancy. Arizona voters may have the opportunity to pass broader protections for abortion rights on a ballot measure in the 2024 general election.

A Note About Medication Abortion

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of mifepristone, one of the two drugs commonly used in abortion pills, in 2000. In recent years, the FDA changed its rules to permit expanded access and the sending of prescriptions through the mail.

Medication abortion remains the most common method of obtaining an abortion in America today. A recent study estimates that some 63% of abortions in the U.S. involve medication abortion drugs. New Mexicans can access such services through Planned Parenthood and other state providers.

In 2022, abortion opponents filed a legal challenge in a Texas federal court, seeking to overturn or modify FDA rules over mifepristone. In response, states with legal abortion that seek to maintain access to the drug filed a separate lawsuit.

One avenue of attack against sending abortion pills through the mail involves the Comstock Act. This 1873 federal law banned several activities seen as promoting illicit sex. It included a provision prohibiting the mailing of any item that would induce abortion. These provisions have not been enforced for over 50 years due to federal privacy law rulings, which included the now-overturned Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court has placed a hold on the lower court rulings and heard arguments on the issues. Its decision is expected later in 2024.

Research the Law

Related Resources

Get Help With Abortion-Related Concerns

Navigating changes in state abortion laws can be difficult. Abortion access is not the same in every state. If you need to know more about the abortion laws in New Mexico, consider seeking legal advice. An experienced healthcare attorney in your area can review your specific situation.  

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