New Mexico attorney general files legal challenge against local abortion bans

Raúl Torrez speaks to Native American leaders during a candidates forum in Albuquerque, N.M., Oct. 14, 2022. New Mexico's top prosecutor on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, asked the state Supreme Court to nullify abortion ordinances that local elected officials have passed in recent months in conservative reaches of the Democratic-led state. Attorney General Torrez urged the high court to intervene against ordinances that he said overstep local government authority to regulate health care access, and violate the New Mexico Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File) Susan Montoya Bryan / AP Photo

New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez wants to crack down on New Mexico towns and counties that have banned abortion.

The Democrat filed an extraordinary writ in the New Mexico Supreme Court on Monday against Roosevelt County, Lea County, and the cities of Hobbs and Clovis for passing abortion bans that advocates call sanctuaries for the unborn. 

These communities have passed laws banning abortion in their communities, hoping to prevent abortion clinics from opening in their respective towns and counties.

Torrez thinks these laws are illegal and wants to see them struck down. 

Torrez does not think local governments have the authority to regulate abortion under New Mexico law, according to a press release issued by his office.

“This is not Texas. Our State Constitution does not allow cities, counties, or private citizens to restrict women’s reproductive rights,” he said in the release. “Today’s action should send a strong message that my office will use every available tool to swiftly and decisively uphold individual liberties against unconstitutional overreach.”

Torrez also referred to abortion as an “inalienable right” in the release.

“Women in every corner of New Mexico should rest assured that we will push back against any attempt to infringe on their inalienable right to make the most personal decision about their lives, their health, and their families,” he said.

Abortion is legal at all stages of pregnancy in New Mexico.

The extraordinary writ filed by Torrez is available here.

Republished with the permission of The Center Square.