As you know, 20-week bans have been passed in several states and the House of Representatives, despite the fact that the courts–and, ya know, common sense–suggest that they are clearly unconstitutional (also: really cruel). Anti-choice advocates initially tried unsuccessfully to push the ban through the legislature, before taking the referendum route. If voters approve the measure tomorrow, Albuquerque would be the first municipality to have such a law.
It’s not just about one city though. Albuquerque is home to the only late-term abortion clinics in the state, including Southwestern Women’s Options, one of just a handful of clinics left in the whole country that do very late abortions. (The clinic has become the target of some scary anti-choice harassment and the providers there are featured in the new documentary After Tiller, which you should definitely see.) So a ban there would affect all the folks who travel to the city for abortion care from rural areas elsewhere in the state–and across the US. Micaela Cadena, who is part of the Respect ABQ Women campaign fighting the measure, explained, ”Albuquerque voters are voting for the whole state of New Mexico and also for the rest of the country.” No wonder anti-choice groups have been spending big bucks to get this ban passed.
Our own Sesali is on the ground working to get out the pro-choice vote, and she reports the final tally is expected to be “suuuuuuper close.” If you live in Albuquerque, get in touch with the Respect ABQ Women campaign to get involved to do some last-minute phone banking and canvassing.
Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.