ALBUQUERQUE, NM - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico announced today that it has sponsored a large mural in East Downtown Albuquerque by renowned New Mexican artist and women’s advocate Jodie Herrera. The mural, which is approximately 75’x12’, is located on the west wall of Downtown Hot Yoga on Central Ave and features artwork and messaging intended to inspire respect for New Mexicans’ reproductive health decisions.
The launch of the mural is timed to help raise awareness around SB 10 and HB 7, bills currently before the New Mexico legislature that would repeal an old abortion ban from the 1960s that remains on the state’s law books. The ACLU of New Mexico, in collaboration and coalition with reproductive rights, health, and justice advocates have prioritized the removal of this outdated law as an affirmation of our state’s respect for women and pregnant people’s reproductive health decisions, and as a local precaution against further erosion of reproductive rights by an anti-abortion U.S. Supreme Court majority.
“At this critical moment for reproductive freedom in our state, we wanted to make a bold and enduring statement that reflects New Mexicans’ respect for the private reproductive health decisions that women and families make every day,” said ACLU of New Mexico reproductive rights attorney Ellie Rushforth. “It is our hope that artist Jodie Herrera’s new public art installation will not only inspire support for reproductive rights and freedom in the legislature and at the ballot box, but serve as an affirmation for the thousands of New Mexicans who will see it every day on Albuquerque’s Mother Road.”
SB 10, which was passed by the New Mexico State Senate on February 11, will go to the New Mexico State House of Representatives for floor debate and vote on February 19, 2021. If the bill passes the House, it will proceed to the desk of New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is expected to sign it into law.
"It was an honor to create this mural for our community and work with the ACLU of New Mexico. I am very passionate about this issue and understand that criminalizing abortion only leads to a world where woman suffer from unsafe medical practices, economic distress, and inequality,” said Jodie Herrera. “The ability to make these deeply personal decisions helps us reach our potential, leading to women holding positions of power typically dominated by men. The woman I chose to paint, Tatiana Garcia, is not only an advocate for reproductive justice but is an aspiring doula. In her palm she cradles a blossom illustrating how women hold the power in their own hands to decide when to create life. The cactus flower is local to our land and resembles the resilience of New Mexican women and how we flourish despite circumstance. This mural represents how progressive we are as a state and that we’re moving forward, and I’m very proud of that."
About the Artist
Jodie Herrera is a Northern New Mexican painter with Latina, Apache, and Comanche ancestry. She has been an artist her whole life and started formally painting in 2011. Herrera received her BFA with honors from the University of New Mexico and currently resides in Albuquerque, where she works as a full time Artist and Curator.
Herrera was awarded “Best Visual Artist of 2017” by Albuquerque The Magazine, and her art has been featured in such settings as The Art and History Museum of Santa Cruz, The Albuquerque Art and History Museum, The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Arts, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine(online), Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe, among many others.