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New Mexico

Low-Income Women's Access to Abortion

New Mexico allows women eligible for state medical assistance for general health care to obtain public funds for abortion services if:  (1) the procedure is necessary to preserve the woman's life; (2) the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest as certified by the treating physician and/or the appropriate reporting agency; (3) the procedure is necessary to terminate an ectopic pregnancy; or (4) the procedure is medically necessary because the pregnancy aggravates a pre-existing condition, makes treatment of a condition impossible, interferes with or hampers a diagnosis, or has a profound, negative impact on the woman's physical or mental health.  Medical Assistance Division Program Policy, § 8.325.7.12(A) (Nov. 1, 2003), at

A court held that a previous regulation that prohibited state funds from paying for abortion except in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest was unconstitutional under the equal-rights amendment of the New Mexico constitution because it prohibited payment for some medically necessary abortion services.  N.M. Right to Choose/NARAL v. Johnson, 975 P.2d 841 (N.M. 1998), cert. denied, 526 U.S. 1020 (1999) (citing to Pregnancy Termination Procedure, N.M. Human Servs. Dep't, Med. Assistance Div. Reg. 766, 6 N.M. Reg. 684 (Apr. 29, 1995)).

Except in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest, an unemancipated minor may not obtain publicly funded abortion care without the written consent of one parent, legal guardian, or other acting "in loco parentis" to the minor, unless the attending physician, and, if necessary, an independent counselor, certify that the minor is mature and well informed enough to make her own decision and that an abortion is in her best interest, or the minor obtains a court order to have the procedure without parental consent.  Medical Assistance Division Program Policy, § 8.325.7.15(D) (Nov. 1, 2003), at

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