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New Mexico ‘Women’s Health & Safety Act’ (HB 600)

This law was last updated on May 2, 2019


HB 600 is an omnibus abortion bill that would make several changes to state law regarding abortion.

Conscience/Refusal

The bill would allow hospitals and other medical facilities to refuse to admit any patient for the purposes of performing an abortion. Any person employed by, or associated with such facilities would be able to refuse to participate in medical procedures that will result in the termination of a pregnancy if they object to the abortion on moral, religious or personal conviction grounds.

TRAP

The bill would require anyone performing an abortion to be either a physician or under the direction of a physician, licensed by the New Mexico medical board.

A person who violates this provision would be guilty of a fourth degree felony.

Informed Consent and Parental Involvement

The bill would prohibit an abortion from being performed without obtaining informed consent from the pregnant person. A physician would need to inform the pregnant person of potential risks associated with abortion.

If the pregnant person is a minor, the physician would need to obtain the minor’s written informed consent. The physician would be required to wait 48 hours and notify (in writing via certified mail) the minor’s parent or guardian of the pending abortion.

Parental notification would not be required in cases of medical emergency.

A person who violates this provision would be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Judicial Bypass for Minors

The bill would allow a minor who is pregnant, unmarried and unemancipated who wishes to have an abortion without notice to a parent or guardian to file a petition in a district court requesting authorization.

Abortion Complication Reporting

The bill would require a physician who performs an abortion to report to the department of health on each abortion complication diagnosed or treated by the physician within three business days of the complication. Health-care facilities would be required to report on each abortion complication diagnosed or treated by the physician within thirty days of the complication.

Abortion complication reports would need to include:

  • The date of the abortion that caused or may have caused the complication;
  • The type of abortion;
  • The gestational age of the fetus at the time of the abortion;
  • The name and type of the facility in which the abortion was performed;
  • The date the complication was diagnosed or treated;
  • The name and type of the facility in which the complication was diagnosed or treated;
  • A description of the complication;
  • The patient’s year of birth, race, marital status, and state and county of residence;
  • The date of the first day of the patient’s last menstrual period that occurred before the date of the abortion;
  • The number of the patient’s previous live births; and
  • The number of previous induced abortions of the patient.

A physician or health-care facility that violates this provision would be subject to a civil penalty of $500 for each violation. The third and separate violation of this provision would result in the suspension or revocation of a physician’s or health-care facility’s license.

Later Abortion (20-week ban)

The bill would prohibit physicians from performing an abortion when it has been determined that the fetus is 20 or more weeks gestational age and viable, unless it is necessary to save the life of the pregnant person.

The bill makes a legal presumption that viability occurs at the 20th week of pregnancy.


A pregnancy is typically considered viable around 24-26 weeks.


In making a determination of viability, the physician would need to perform examinations to make a finding of the gestational age, weight and lung maturity of the fetus.

If the fetus is viable and the abortion is necessary to save the life of the pregnant person, it would need to be performed at a hospital or similar medical facility with access to 24-hour monitoring, emergency treatment and surgical facilities.

Civil penalties

In addition to any criminal penalty listed above, any person who violates any provision of the “Women’s Health & Safety Act” would also be liable for civil damages and have their license suspended for at least a year.


Related Legislation

The conscience/refusal provision is similar to HB 525 and HB 608.


Latest Action

2/14/19 – Introduced; referred to House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee.


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