ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) — Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision reversing Roe v. Wade’s 1973 brought the abortion access debate to the fore. But how many abortions are performed in New Mexico? The numbers aren’t exact, but KRQE News 13 dug into the data to find out.
New Mexico Access
New Mexico is generally considered a state with relatively easy access to abortion. Many ruling politicians in the state lean towards the Democrats. And Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is running for re-election this fall, has previously moved to support legal abortion.
“In anticipation of this precise moment, we have taken action,” Grisham said in a press release on Friday. “We’ve eliminated New Mexico’s outdated abortion-inducing ban, safeguarding the right of every woman in this state to make critical decisions about her own health and to decide for herself – and for her family. – when to have children.”
In 2021, the governor signed legislation repealing New Mexico’s abortion ban. This prohibition had been on the books for more than 50 years. The law removed part of the state law allowing institutions and individuals to refuse to perform abortions, leaving New Mexico without any statewide restrictions on abortions.
take into account
Given state laws, many New Mexicans have access to abortion. Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that at least 3,942 people had an abortion in New Mexico in 2019, the latest data available. Nearly a quarter of them were from out-of-state residents.
The CDC numbers only count legally induced abortions performed by licensed clinicians. They include surgical abortions as well as medical abortions.
This means that in New Mexico, for every 1,000 live births, there are approximately 172 abortions, according to CDC data. This places us in the top 25 states for the highest rate of abortions to live births. But states like New York far exceed us, where about 355 abortions are performed for every 1,000 live births.
But the data is not perfect. Not only is it a few years out of date, but it also does not include abortions performed in California and a few other states.
Moreover, the figures do not reflect whether or not everything residents have access to it. Even here in New Mexico, residents who live farther from abortion centers might be considered to have less access.
A 2021 study published on the American Medical Association’s JAMA Network shows that increasing the distance traveled to abortion centers is associated with significant reductions in the rate of abortions.
The study uses data from 2015 to show that in more rural New Mexico counties the abortion rate is lower than in Bernalillo or Santa Fe County. The study also estimates that when New Mexicans live within 30 miles of an abortion center, the rate at which they obtain abortions is about 10% lower than when they live within 5 miles.