New Mexico is strongly pro-choice. Yes, even its traditional Hispanic, strongly Roman Catholic voters have demonstrated strength in supporting the right of a woman to make personal reproductive health choices in conjunction with a doctor.

In that vein, a recent New Yorker podcast interview with New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham at https://www.newyorker.com/podcast is worth a listen. The governor there answers why she cannot and will not “compromise” in order to win votes that otherwise could go to her November GOP opponent, whose official position is for banning abortion “only” after 15 weeks and who has told a notorious right-wing minister that he favors a full ban.

Governor Lujan Grisham there said, “If we did better family planning and comprehensive sex education and made contraceptives more available and we were better at primary care access, then you get to the place where we should all be–preventing unwanted, unexpected pregnancies. But to say I can make a personal decision for women who do not currently have those options, particularly in states where they don’t have access to contraceptives, that is outrageous to me.”

 Thanks to Joe Monahan’s political blog, https://joemonahansnewmexico.blogspot.com/ we are alerted that the top of the political ticket in New Mexico and Albuquerque continues to matter, even with a strongly Democratic, pro-choice legislature and a Democratic majority on Albuquerque’s city council. As examples, the blogger noted:

  • Governor Lujan Grisham issued an executive order “protecting medical providers from attempts at legal retribution and establishing that New Mexico will not entertain extradition attempts from other states relating to receiving or performing reproductive services.”
  • Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller signed off on funding approved 6-3 by the City Council for $250,000 to Planned Parenthood. An anti-choice mayor could have vetoed the bill.
  • The sitting governor also appoints the 11 members of the NM Medical Board that issues license to physicians and disciplines incompetent providers. A board filled by an anti-choice governor might have affirmed the complaint against an abortion provider brought in 2013 by Operation Rescue and Project Defending Life.

As Monahan concludes, “So the argument that it makes no difference who is governor because New Mexico is already a pro-choice state doesn’t hold up.”