FILE - Abortion pregnant pregnancy

(The Center Square) – The Southwest Coalition for Life is opening a pregnancy center for expecting mothers next to the new location of the Mississippi abortion clinic at the heart of the Supreme Court case overturning Roe v Wade, which has since closed.

It’s announcing its plan to open the pregnancy center at an event Tuesday night located outside of 2908 Hillrise Drive in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Starting at 7 p.m. local time (MT), the event was to be livestreamed on the coalition’s various social media channels.

In New Mexico, the number of abortion facilities is tripling after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, Mark Cavaliere, CEO, Southwest Coalition for Life, told The Center Square. The coalition includes pro-life organizations in communities spanning from El Paso, Texas, throughout southern New Mexico.

“Due to the lack of any regulations or medical oversight on abortion up to the moment of delivery, without any standards of care,” he told The Center Square, “abortion is becoming a tourist trade by a predatory industry. Somebody has to say, ‘the emperor has no clothes’: abortion is not healthcare, and women deserve better.”

Diane Derzis’ abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, has relocated to Las Cruces under a new name. It hasn’t yet opened, and its name hasn’t yet been announced.

Derzis’ clinic, at the center of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case overturning Roe v. Wade, is now closed. She’s since sold the building in Mississippi, the Associated Press reported, and the clinic’s furniture and equipment was moved to the Las Cruces location 40 miles north of El Paso.

After a judge rejected her request to temporarily block Mississippi’s 2007 trigger law, allowing the state’s abortion ban to go into effect, Mississippi’s only abortion clinic permanently closed July 6. There are now no more abortion facilities in the Magnolia State.

Derzis’ clinic, she told NPR, will be the only surgical abortion clinic in this region of New Mexico. It “obviously is closer to the Texas and Oklahoma borders and Arizona. So it seemed like one of the places we need to be,” she said.

Abortion bans in Texas and Oklahoma have gone into effect, forcing women to go out of state to have abortions or consider options other than abortion.

By contrast, in 2021, Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill into law repealing New Mexico’s 1969 law banning abortion. Had she and the legislature not done so, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe and returned the matter of abortion back to the states, performing an abortion would be a felony.

When Lujan Grisham signed the bill, she said in part, “A woman has the right to make decisions about her own body. Anyone who seeks to violate bodily integrity, or to criminalize womanhood, is in the business of dehumanization. New Mexico is not in that business – not anymore.”

In response, Las Cruces native state Sen. Crystal Diamond said, “the only victor in this bill is the multi-million dollar abortion industry,” KRQE News reported. “With the stroke of her pen, the Governor has weakened standards of care for women, stripped conscience protections for medical professionals, and given the abortion industry unchecked power to operate under the radar in our state. New Mexico women and children deserve better.”

Reversing the state abortion ban has legalized abortion, which is unregulated up to the moment of delivery for any reason, including for minors, even without parental consent, Cavaliere said.

Derzis told NPR that New Mexico “is a very receptive state. We’ve been welcomed.” She could not be reached for comment.

Southwest Coalition for Life said it also hopes to welcome women coming from out of state. 

Joining Cavaliere will be several speakers, including Terri Herring, president of Choose Life: Jackson, Mississippi and state Sen. David Gallegos, R-Eunice, among others.

“We are entering an era where healthcare for women is in question and have an opportunity to help define the healthcare that women deserve,” Cavaliere said. Opening the pregnancy center next to the abortion clinic, he said, was one way to help women.

“It’s important at this moment in history because we are seeing so much genuine confusion in our culture,” he added.

“Women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant are being told by everyone, including their employer, that abortion is the best we have to offer you. But we don't believe that anything that alters, suppresses, or destroys a normal healthy function of a woman's natural body is healthcare, nor will it bring her wellness.”