Hobbs city leaders respond to emergency petition against abortion business ordinance – NewsWest9.com
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HOBBS, N.M. — Several City of Hobbs leaders released statements Monday in response to a legal move made to pause the city’s Abortion Business Ordinance. According to a Hobbs spokesperson, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office filed an emergency petition for writ of mandamus and request for stay with the New Mexico Supreme Court. Hobbs city commissioners unanimously approved the ordinance in November of last year. The ordinance does not prevent abortion clinics from opening in Hobbs, but it forces businesses to comply with federal law, increasing challenges for clinics trying to open. Each of the statements can be read below: City Attorney Efren Cortez:“Our hope was that prior to any court action we would have been contacted by the Attorney General’s Office to discuss the substance of the City of Hobbs Abortion Business Ordinance. Such a conversation could have served to remedy any misunderstanding regarding the effect of the Ordinance. We have been transparent with our legal analysis through numerous public meetings and fulfilled public records requests. We have been abundantly clear that the Ordinance does not ban abortions in Hobbs. Quite to the contrary, the Ordinance anticipates an abortion clinic will establish a location in Hobbs and sets minimum requisites for obtaining a business license to operate. With regard to some of the public comments made by the AG, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that abortion is a very emotional topic. On the heels of recent despicable acts of violence towards elected officials in Albuquerque, we have the opportunity to soften the divisive rhetoric among New Mexicans. I will certainly look to the AG’s leadership to set the example for the rest of the State.” City Manager Manny Gomez:“To date, the City Clerk’s Office has not received any business applications for prospective abortion providers. The City of Hobbs team respects all people, irrespective of their beliefs. Our team remains steadfast in our mission to provide the best customer service possible to the residents of Hobbs, New Mexico. We pride ourselves on inclusivity, and we welcome any person to our team that wants to help Hobbs become a better place to live, work, and play.” Mayor Sam Cobb states:“Our legal team presented the legal analysis for the City of Hobbs Abortion Business Ordinance in at least two public meetings. The analysis was thorough and transparent. Our Commission invited extended public comment on the issue and heard hours of testimony. Through this process, we learned our constituents were overwhelmingly in support of the Ordinance. The Commission honored the wishes of the public by enacting the Ordinance on November 7, 2022. The Ordinance does not ban abortions or abortion clinics in Hobbs. I would invite anyone that has heard otherwise to read the Ordinance in detail. Importantly, the City of Hobbs unequivocally supports women and women’s rights. The future of our City, our County, and our State depends on the ability of us all to work together to find common ground – even on issues that stir emotion.”
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