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Repeal of anti-abortion law moves forward, with amendment

SANTA FE — A proposal to repeal a New Mexico law that makes it a crime to perform an abortion — except in narrow circumstances — has advanced to the full Senate for consideration.

A Senate committee has amended the version approved by the House. The Senate change leaves in place a section of law that said people who object on moral grounds can’t be forced to participate in an abortion.

Supporters of the legislation, House Bill 51, said the “conscience” clause was redundant and not actually needed to ensure people don’t have to participate.

In any case, the proposal is set to be considered by the full Senate. If approved there, the amended version would have to go back to the House for approval.

The law is largely unenforceable because of the Roe v. Wade statute, but supporters of the repeal say it should be removed in case the Supreme Court issues another ruling on abortion.

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