2022 Annual Report
The Supreme Court of the United States delivered a devastating blow to civil liberties when it ruled against a person's right to bodily autonomy in Dobbs u. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade.
This ruling has allowed politicians to ban abortion in states across the country, with an eye toward a nationwide ban. With that, they've turned their attention to our home.
Extremist outsiders are pushing an agenda that is not aligned with New Mexican values and are trying to dictate our policy regarding reproductive healthcare. We expect anti-freedom politicians will continue to press forward in their plans to stigmatize, shame, and even block access to abortion here and in neighboring states.
As we watched the Supreme Court cast off precedent and tilt far right, we knew it was only a matter of time before our most fundamental rights, including abortion, would be under assault. That is why the ACLU of New Mexico has been preparing for this moment for years. Our Managing Reproductive Rights and Gender Equity Attorney Ellie Rushforth is on the frontlines of this fight, so I wanted to give her this space to tell you what comes next to protect New Mexicans' reproductive care.
Abortion care remains safe and legal as a result of decades of tireless work by advocates throughout the state. That includes our efforts alongside coalition partners during the 2021 legislative session to repeal a pre-Roe abortion ban that was still on the books.
13 states have banned abortion, 12 have severely restricted this care leading to de facto bans, and others are fighting in court to take away their resident's right to bodily autonomy. Today, patients and their health care providers face stigma, investigation, criminalization, and real danger. Anti-abortion extremists have manufactured a public health crisis that is playing out all accross this country and in our own communities.
This crisis will continue to have a devastating impact on people of color, LGBTQ+ communities, young people, those living in rural areas, and people with low incomes. In New Mexico, that means our rights are under greater threat, even as providers work hard to help people from states seeking reproductive care here.
Overturning Roe was never just about abortion rights. The same extremist politicians and decision-makers aim to roll back other monumental civil rights victories in reproductive freedom (like the right to contraception), transgender rights, racial justice, immigrant's rights, marriage equality, the rights of people with disabilities, the rights of people currently incarcerated, and far more.
What's at stake is nothing short of our democracy. Access to reproductive health care and the ability to make personal decisions about if and when to have a child is critical to an individual's ability to fully direct their lives as free and equal citizens. Reproductive freedom is not a result of our democracy, it is the keystone.
Today and every day, we will continue fighting until everyone can get the health care they need, including abor-tion. And we'll keep envisioning a world where politicians no longer try to interfere in our most intimate health care decisions.
I hope you will join us.
- Ellie Rushforth
You can find the full annual report below.