US states move on abortion laws

Texas and New Mexico tackle abortion issue

United States – The state of Texas will continue to restrict the availability of abortion following a US Supreme Court decision, while the city of Albuquerque in New Mexico has voted not to outlaw late-term abortions.

With a close 5 to 4 vote, the country’s highest court gave Texas permission to impose a regulation on abortion doctors there to have admitting privileges to local hospitals before they can operate clinics offering terminations. The case had made its way to the Supreme Court as a judge at an earlier hearing had ruled such a requirement as unconstitutional as it presented an obstacle to a woman seeking a termination. The Supreme Court disagreed, finding no major impediment in the hospital admission regulation. It has been reported that the regulation has seen the closure of at least 12 abortion clinics since October.

In New Mexico, meanwhile, residents of Albuquerque voted down a proposal to outlaw abortions after the 20-week mark except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. That vote was carried 55% to 45% following a major debate on the issue of foetal pain, and despite a direct pro-life appeal from Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe.