Morning Word

NM Guv Signs Order Strengthening Abortion Protections

Feds seize phone from Santa Fe resident/former Trump lawyer John Eastman

Guv signs order shoring up abortion protections

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham yesterday signed an executive order strengthening protections for health care providers and people seeking abortions in New Mexico. That order arrives in the wake of the June 24 US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and ending a 50-year-long constitutional right to abortion. Last year, in anticipation of the court’s action, New Mexico’s legislators repealed a 1969 state law that had criminalized abortion in the state. Yesterday’s executive order makes clear the state will not cooperate with any state seeking information in the pursuit of criminal or civil proceedings; will not cooperate with extradition attempts; and directs the Superintendent of Regulation and Licensing Department to work with licensing boards to ensure no negative consequences to practitioners who are censured or otherwise disciplined by other states for providing reproductive health care services. Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, signed into law similar executive orders on Friday and Saturday, respectively. “As I’ve been saying all weekend: As long as I’m governor, everyone in the state of New Mexico will be protected,” Lujan Grisham said yesterday during a news conference with state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque—the lead sponsor of last year’s bill securing abortion in the state—as well as representatives from the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and NM Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. “Out-of-state residents seeking access will be protected. Providers will be protected, and abortion is and will continue to be legal, safe and accessible.” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and a national coalition of 22 attorneys general yesterday also issued a joint statement “reaffirming their commitment to supporting and expanding access to abortion care.” And in Santa Fe, Mayor Alan Webber issued a statement reiterating Santa Fe’s commitment to human rights.

NM Dems: Vet clinics safe

Democrats in New Mexico’s congressional delegation say community-based outpatient clinics for veterans in Gallup, Las Vegas, Española and Raton will remain open. The announcement follows a proposal earlier this year from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to close some community-based clinics in New Mexico as a part of its Asset and Infrastructure Review. US Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján also joined a group of bipartisan senators yesterday to issue a joint statement announcing their collective opposition to the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission process moving forward in the Senate, which signifies the end of the AIR Commission. “By putting a halt to the AIR Commission process today, these clinics that provide quality health care to New Mexico veterans are no longer in jeopardy of closing,” Heinrich said in a statement. “From day one, I’ve been clear that the process to close [four] veteran health clinics in NM didn’t have my support,” Luján said. “It’s not what’s best for our veterans or those who support them.” US Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, D-NM, noted in a statement that all of the clinics are located in the 3rd Congressional District, which she represents: “We promised the vets we would do everything we could to keep the clinics open,” Leger Fernández said. “The Senate action to halt the AIR Commission keeps that promise.”

Feds seize phone from Trump lawyer/Santa Fe resident

Federal agents last week seized the cell phone belonging to John Eastman, the lawyer who advised former president Donald Trump on how to overthrow the 2020 election. Eastman detailed that seizure in a court filing yesterday in federal court in New Mexico. According to the court document, which seeks the return of Eastman’s iPhone Pro 12, the federal agents identified themselves as FBI agents, but appeared to be executing a warrant issued at the behest of the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General. They approached Eastman last Wednesday as he exited an unnamed restaurant purportedly in Santa Fe, where—ICYMI—Eastman lives at least some of the time and votes (as a registered Republican, obviously). We would normally not link to Tucker Carlson, but he has a clip of the incident; it starts at about 0:44. Federal agents have been serving subpoenas to a variety of people connected to the Jan. 6 riot; federal agents searched the home of Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark the same day Eastman was served. Various talking heads last night said the seizure of Eastman’s phone indicates just how “dynamic” the investigation of the conspiracy to overthrow the 2020 election remains. The House Committee investigating Jan. 6. yesterday announced it would hold an unexpected hearing at 1 pm EST today, in part due to recently obtained evidence.

COVID-19 by the numbers

Reported June 27:

New cases: 2,683 (includes the weekend); 560,929 total cases

Deaths: six; Santa Fe County has had 310 total deaths thus far; there have been 7,911 total fatalities statewide. Hospitalizations: 190. Patients on ventilators: 18.

Community levels: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “community levels” tracking system—which uses case rates along with two hospital metrics in combination for its framework—for the seven-day period of June 16-22, six counties show high—or “red”—levels—three fewer than last week. Thirteen counties, including Santa Fe County, are classified as having yellow or “medium” levels. CDC recommendations for individuals and communities based on the community-level rankings can be found here, but include the recommendation for people living in counties with “high” community levels to wear masks indoors and on public transportation. The CDC updates its map every Thursday.

Resources: Vaccine registration; Booster registration Free at-home rapid antigen tests; Self-report a positive COVID-19 test result to the health department; COVID-19 treatment info: oral treatments Paxlovid (age 12+) and Molnupiravir (age 18+); and monoclonal antibody treatments. Toolkit for immunocompromised individuals. People seeking treatment who do not have a medical provider can call NMDOH’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-855-600-3453. Vaccines for children: Parents of children ages 6 months to 5 years can now schedule appointments for vaccinations at VaccineNM.org.

You can read all of SFR’s COVID-19 coverage here.

Listen up

The countdown begins for the start of Santa Fe Opera’s summer season with openings for Carmen on Friday, July 1 and The Barber of Seville on Saturday, July 2. Get ready with SFO’s Destination Santa Fe Opera podcast’s two recent episodes in which host Jane Trembley talks with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard about interpreting the iconic role of Carmen; and with apprentice alumni Emily Fons and Jack Swanson about their fresh take on The Barber of Seville.

Tia Collection on display at Denver Art Museum

The Santa Fe-based global art collection Tia Collection has four works on loan to the Denver Art Museum in its newly expanded Western Art collection. The collection on the building’s seventh floor features a combination of historical and contemporary works. In a post about the works on loan, Tia Collection writes that all share a guiding sense of the West as a diverse landscape. They include Bernard Williams, “Western Woman from the South” (2000); Esteban Cabeza de Baca’s “Ghost Canyon” (2019); Leon Polk Smith, “Constellation Straight Out” (1974); and Christo and Jeanne Claude “Over The River” (2009). Tia Collection also speaks with Jennifer R. Henneman, curator of Western American Art and director of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art at the museum, who notes that the “West has always been a diverse place. This is why we work with our colleagues in the Indigenous, Latin American, and Modern & Contemporary art departments and also why we try to acquire and exhibit artworks by artists of diverse backgrounds. Additionally, the opportunity to work with extraordinary collections like Tia helps us tell multi-faceted stories of the West through an array of aesthetic and personal perspectives.”

An off-Broadway take on Santa Fe

A new off-off Broadway play set in Santa Fe receives a critic’s pick from the New York Times: In Bodies They Ritual, by Angela Hanks, five women of color travel to Santa Fe for “some fancy R&R laced with New Age spirituality. There are hot stones and plush white robes, chats by the fire pit and periods of zoning out.” Specifically, they are there to celebrate Faye’s 65th birthday and their trip “revolves around a series of meetings between the visitors and assorted locals. Naturally, the locals help excavate a few truths, but somehow there don’t seem to be any earth-shattering changes for anybody. Whatever metaphorical splinter was lodged under a character’s skin at the start is pretty much still there at the end, a constant reminder of past choices and roads taken, or not.” Some of those local characters include a teenage barista named Sepultura for her mother’s third-favorite thrash metal band; Queen Harvest, the Galadriel of New Mexico, and her acolytes Dawn and Turquoise Sunshine. The playwright, the Times writes, refrains “from open conflicts and cathartic resolutions—Santa Fe may peddle enlightenment, but this playwright does not take the bait.”

Drying out

Looks a little warmer and a little drier today in Santa Fe, according to the National Weather Service, which forecasts a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3 pm on an otherwise mostly sunny day with a high temperature near 79 degrees. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph will become southwest in the afternoon.

Thanks for reading! While The Word would probably not normally recommend singers Olivia Rodrigo or Lily Allen—let alone crowds screaming profanity first thing in the morning—she’s appreciating their message to the US Supreme Court while performing at the Glastonbury festival.

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