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February 3, 2023

House Bill 7 passes the House Health & Human Services Committee

Santa Fe, NM - Today, the House Health & Human Services Committee passed House Bill 7, the Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Healthcare Act, on a 7 to 3 party line vote. Advocate groups and lawmakers, including Representative Linda Serrato (D-Santa Fe), are calling for the protection and expansion of health care freedom in New Mexico, including abortion and gender-affirming healthcare. 

House Bill 7 prohibits public bodies, including local municipalities, from denying, restricting, or discriminating against an individual’s right to use or refuse reproductive health care or health care related to gender. It ensures that state law protects families seeking reproductive health care in every part of New Mexico. Additionally, it asserts what we already know: that the state is the regulator of reproductive health care and that no public entity, including counties or municipalities, has the authority to discriminate against reproductive healthcare access.

“Everyone deserves access to lifesaving health care and to make their own decisions about if, when, and how to grow their families,” said lead sponsor Representative Linda Serrato. “House Bill 7 safeguards New Mexicans’ fundamental right to the health care they need by preventing politically-motivated efforts to restrict access to reproductive or gender-affirming care.”

After the fall of Roe v. Wade last summer, New Mexico emerged as a national leader in reproductive health care access and this year, advocates and lawmakers are steadfastly moving forward with more protections than any other state has offered in the history of our country. 

“LGBTQ New Mexicans are applauding this step toward liberation,” said Marshall Martinez Executive Director at EQNM. “We know that gender-affirming care is suicide prevention; and abortion care is fundamental health care. We are excited to keep pushing this bill forward for all of our communities.”

The vast majority of New Mexicans believe decisions about reproductive health care, including abortion, are personal and must remain between the person seeking care, their loved ones, and their medical provider.

“In New Mexico, abortion care remains legal and that’s due to decades of work led by our communities and when we truly listen to and are led by black indigenous women and people of color communities, we prioritize expanding access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care, including abortion care,” said Kat Sanchez, Policy Co-Director at Bold Futures NM.

The Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Health Care Act, House Bill 7, now heads to the House Judiciary Committee for its next hearing.