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New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham pledges $10 million for new abortion clinic

The governor of New Mexico on Wednesday signed a new executive order pledging $10 million to build a clinic dedicated to providing abortions and other pregnancy care services.

“The goal here is to build it and they will come,” said Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham after the signing. order in a virtual announcement that included members of the state’s Commission on the Status of Women and several lawmakers.

The governor noted that New Mexico has seen a large influx of patients following the US Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturned Roe v. Wade because abortions were gone in neighboring Texas and elsewhere.

Lujan Grisham, who is running for re-election against Republican Mark Ronchetti, signed his first executive order on the matter at the end of June. It is aimed at ensuring a safe haven for those people seeking abortions or providing abortion services in health care facilities in the state.

The latest order reiterates her commitments to protecting access in addition to directing public agencies to leverage their resources to expand access to reproductive health care — including pregnancy — in underserved areas of the state. The order also calls on the state Department of Health to consider the feasibility of providing medical abortions in public health clinics.

Ronchetti on Wednesday said that state funds should not be spent on a clinic where people from the state will have late abortions. He has proposed limiting abortions to the first 15 weeks, or in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk.

“The use of taxpayer dollars to trigger and fund abortion up to the point of delivery is not only contrary to New Mexico values ​​but also extreme,” he said in a statement.

The Democratic-led Legislature will allocate the next state budget, including capital investments, when it meets in January.

For a proposed $10 million one-time investment in a new clinic in the Las Cruces area, Lujan Grisham said she envisions partnerships with medical schools and private providers. individuals, such as the Mississippi clinic at the center of the Roe court battle that relocated to southern New Mexico in early August.

One of the largest abortion providers in Texas, Austin-based Whole Woman’s Health, also still plans to move some of its operations to New Mexico and states in the southeastern United States.

The Commission on the Status of Women in a resolution read Wednesday made clear its focus on protecting access to abortion, protecting health care providers and expanding access to abortion. access to what the board calls the full spectrum of pregnancy care – including abortion as well as postpartum care.

Commission Chairwoman Lisa Curtis said special focus is needed on underserved areas across the rural state and investment in programs that will develop a network of care providers trained health.

New Mexico lawmakers last year repealed a 1969 inactive law that banned most abortion procedures as felony, thus guaranteeing access to abortion following the Supreme Court action. Several Democratic lawmakers said on Wednesday they would push for measures in the next legislative session to deepen access and protections in state law.

The governor said the work being done by her allies in the Legislature and advocacy groups is saving women’s lives.

“The notion that women cannot control their bodies, dignity, respect and autonomy is one-sided,” says Lujan Grisham. “This is a state that won’t let it be the status quo.”

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