Whole Woman's Health opens clinic in Albuquerque
Whole Woman's Health today opens a clinic in Albuquerque, nine months after the Supreme Court decision that removed the federal right to an abortion and forced the closure of four of its facilities in Texas.
The opening comes just after a state legislative session in which bills were passed to shore up protections for abortion providers, and $10 million was allocated for another abortion clinic to open in Las Cruces in the south of the state.
Since abortion was banned or severely restricted in states including New Mexico's neighbors Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma, demand for the procedure is expected to grow here, where the procedure remains legal. Whole Woman's Health said in a statement that 50,000 Texans seek abortion care annually.
The organization raised $300,000 through a GoFundMe campaign to relocate its Texas services to New Mexico. The new facility will, for now, provide abortions up to 18 weeks of gestational age, and has plans to expand up to 24 weeks in the near future.
“Today marks the next chapter of our organization. In these times when abortion rights, health, and justice are under attack, our Albuquerque clinic will serve as a safe haven for abortion care,” said Marva Sadler, Senior Director of Clinical Services for Whole Woman’s Health in the statement.
The privately-owned healthcare organization had originally looked at opening clinics in places closer to Texas, like Clovis or Hobbs. But those cities, and some other local authorities in the conservative-leaning east of the state, passed ordinances placing heavy logistical hurdles in the way of anyone trying to open an abortion facility.
House Bill 7, now signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, would overrule those local ordinances. But officials from Clovis and Hobbs tell KUNM they are anticipating fighting state enforcement of the new law.
Another law just passed, Senate Bill 13, protects abortion providers from civil or criminal liability and discrimination by licensing boards or other states.
The new clinic is located at 718 Lomas Boulevard NW, a short drive from the airport.