This content is intended to serve as general information; it is not legal advice nor intended as legal advice.
In New Mexico…
Whether you’re married, in a relationship, single, or under 18 you have rights. You have the right to:
- Receive accurate information about all your sexual and reproductive health care options;
- Make your own decisions about sexual and reproductive health care;
- Decide what you want to do if you’re pregnant (continuing the pregnancy, abortion, or adoption);
- Receive care without experiencing discrimination.
- You may also qualify to get free or low-cost care if you can’t afford to pay for it through the NM Dept. of Health Family Planning program or public health insurance.
You do NOT have to:
- Get anyone’s permission to have an abortion, have a baby, or get contraception;
- Get anyone’s permission to get tested or treated for STIs;
- Tell anyone about your reproductive health care decisions;
- Tell a health care provider your citizenship status. You do not have to tell health center staff if you are undocumented or that you do not have a social security number. Instead, tell staff that you do not qualify for insurance or ask about self-pay options for patients.
Thanks to a new contraceptive insurance coverage law, New Mexico has some of the most expansive and strongest laws in the country that guarantee your right to obtain confidential and affordable contraception and related services if you have public or private insurance. This includes coverage for: over the counter methods, including external condoms, without a prescription; up to a six month supply of contraception at once; your contraceptive method of choice; and the law prohibits out of pocket costs or co-pays.
You can also get your hormonal contraception from a qualified pharmacist.
- Thanks to a new anti-discrimination law, pregnancy is now a recognized and protected class in New Mexico.
- Employers with four or more employees are required to grant a reasonable accommodation for an employee with a need arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related condition as long as it does not create an undue hardship for the employer.
- An employer cannot force a pregnant employee to take unpaid or paid leave if another accommodation can be provided, unless the employee requests leave as an accommodation.
- Some examples of a reasonable accommodation can include 1) allowing an employee to keep water at their workstation, 2) extra bathroom breaks, 3) reprieve from heavy lifting, 4) light duty, or 5) time off to attend prenatal appointments.
- Pregnant people are also protected from discrimination in housing, labor organizations, and other public accommodations ("public accommodation" means any establishment that provides or offers its services, facilities, accommodations or goods to the public, but does not include a bona fide private club or other place or establishment that is by its nature and use distinctly private.)
New Mexico does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions—such as forced waiting periods, forced parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortion—often found in other states. You do not have to get anyone's permission to get an abortion. You have the right to access this care without interference from anyone. If you are attempting to access abortion care, or other reproductive health care, and someone attempts to interfere with that, please document it and contact the ACLU of New Mexico or law enforcement if you feel you are in danger.
You have the right to breastfeed/chestfeed wherever you are legally allowed to be (school, work, Public Park, movie theaters, etc.).
NM employers are required to provide break time and space (other than a bathroom) for lactating parents to pump at work.
- You have the right to determine your birthing plan and receive accurate information about your birthing options.
- You have the right to take part in shared decision making with your healthcare provider.
- You have the right to birth free from discrimination.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) also known as fake clinics: Their mission is to discourage people from accessing abortion care. If you are pregnant and looking for health care, you deserve access to factual information about your health and options.
- CPCs or fake clinics are often made to look like medical facilities, they might have volunteer nurses or doctors but many do not, they generally do not practice medicine (outside of an occasional ultrasound or STI test), and they generally do not provide factual information or adhere to standardized medical ethics.
- CPCs are entirely unregulated because they are not real health care facilities.
- Because they are not actual medical facilities, they are not required to give accurate medical information or services. Instead, CPCs present misinformation to clients about abortion, contraception, STDs, and sexual health. CPCs can also prevent or delay clients from receiving medical care by delaying appointments or refusing to give their clients their own medical records.
How to spot a crisis pregnancy center and how to find a real health care facility
Look for the words “pregnancy options,” “pregnancy resource center,” or “pregnancy care center,” “pregnant and scared?,” or “need help?” in your internet search results, on advertisements, and on their signage.
If you call before you walk in, ask what services they provide and about their staff. If at any point they won’t explain who they are or what services they offer, or if they refuse to refer you to an abortion provider, they might be a CPC.
Asserting your rights can be challenging and overwhelming, so always do what feels comfortable to you. If you think your rights have been violated, document everything you can about the incident. You can contact the ACLU using the legal complaint form on our website.