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New Mexico

Refusal to Provide Medical Services

ABORTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

New Mexico allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide abortion services.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Hospitals and individuals associated with, employed by, or on the staff of a hospital.

What does the refusal clause allow? No person associated with, employed by, or on the staff of a hospital, who objects on moral or religious grounds, may be required to participate in medical procedures that result in an abortion. The refusal of a person to participate may not be a basis for disciplinary action or other recriminatory action. No hospital may be required to admit a woman for the purpose of providing abortion care.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected? No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised? No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services? No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause? No.

Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law? No. However, the New Mexico attorney general issued an opinion stating that this law is enforceable. N.M. Op. Att'y Gen. No. 90-19 (Oct. 3, 1990).

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-5-2 (Enacted 1969).

HEALTH-CARE PROVIDER AND HEALTH-CARE INSTITUTION REFUSAL CLAUSES

New Mexico allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to comply with individual health-care instructions or decisions based on conscience.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Health-care providers and health-care institutions.

What does the refusal clause allow? A health-care provider may refuse to comply with an individual health-care instruction or decision for reasons of conscience. A health-care institution may refuse to comply with an individual health-care instruction or health-care decision if it is contrary to a policy of the institution that is expressly based on reasons of conscience.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected? Yes. A provider or institution that refuses to comply with an individual health-care instruction or decision must promptly inform the patient.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised? No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for the requested health services? No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause? Yes. A health-care provider or institution that refuses to comply with an instruction or decision must (1) inform the patient promptly; (2) make all reasonable efforts to assist in the transfer of the patient to another provider or institution that is willing to comply with the instruction or decision; and (3) provide continuing care to the patent until the transfer is accomplished or until it appears that a transfer cannot be accomplished.

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 24-7A-7 (Enacted 1995; Last Amended 1997).

INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR CONTRACEPTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Although New Mexico law requires health-insurance plans that cover prescription medication to provide equitable coverage for contraception, certain employers and/or insurers may require that their plans exclude coverage for contraception.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Religious employers.

What does the refusal clause allow? A religious employer may exclude coverage for prescription contraception from the health coverage purchased.

Is this refusal clause overbroad, jeopardizing insurance coverage for contraception for women? Yes. By failing to define the term "religious employer," the law's refusal clause inappropriately includes a wide range of entities that perform non-religious functions in the public sphere.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected? No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised? No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to obtain contraceptive coverage if their employer exercises a refusal clause? No.

N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 59A-22-42 (Enacted 2001; Last Amended 2007), -23-4 (Enacted 1984; Last Amended 2009), -47-33 (Enacted 1984; Last Amended 2009).

STERILIZATION REFUSAL CLAUSES

New Mexico allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide or participate in sterilizing procedures.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Hospitals and clinics.

What does the refusal clause allow? No hospital or clinic that objects on moral or religious grounds shall be required to admit a person for the purpose of being sterilized.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected? No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised? No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for sterilization services? No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause? No.

N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 24-8-2 (Enacted 1978; Last Amended 1978), -6 (Enacted 1978).


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