Opinion: Otero County Has Made It Clear That Abortions—Although Technically Legal—Are Not Welcome!

Daniella Cressman

Otero County is notoriously conservative in the state of New Mexico, and they have recently made their stance on abortion rights abundantly clear.

"A local government board in Southern New Mexico approved a message Thursday saying abortion clinics are not welcome in politically conservative Otero County — even though state law allows most abortion procedures." —Morgan Lee (Associated Press)

This is a nonbinding abortion resolution; the commission simply wants to make it known that they disapprove of those who are seeking abortion care. The perception seems to be that too many women use abortion as a form of birth control and, while this is unfortunately true in too many cases, there are many other women who are devastated by the decision they have to make or are in desperate need of the procedure for their own health.

Thankfully, the county has stated that abortions to save a pregnant woman's life will be performed in the hospital and has remained neutral on the issue when it comes to instances of incest and rape.

There was nothing mentioned about saving a pregnant person's life, meaning that it may be even more difficult to obtain care in this county if you are not a cis woman.

Again, there are no legal ramifications to this decision—abortion is legal in every area of New Mexico—but it is clear that many seeking an abortion will likely feel alienated, and there will probably be a lot of friction for anyone who wants to set up or operate an abortion clinic!

"The nonbinding anti-abortion resolution, approved in a 3-0 vote, said the commission 'stands firmly against the presence in the county of Planned Parenthood clinics or any other clinics where abortion is practiced at will and on demand.'" —Morgan Lee (Associated Press)

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