Albuquerque: Today’s Front Line in the War on Women

By Hayley Smith, ACLU Advocacy and Policy Associate

This year, anti-choice forces coordinated a nationwide attack on reproductive rights. From Arkansas to North Dakota, Texas to North Carolina, the goal is clear: banning abortion completely.

And today the fight has come to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where these anti-choice extremists have put an abortion ban on the ballot. The ballot measure would ban abortion after 20 weeks, a point at which a woman might find out that something has gone seriously wrong with the pregnancy.

Attacking reproductive rights at the city level is just the latest tactic in the ongoing War on Women. If this experiment works in Albuquerque you can believe radical forces will try to export this tactic to other states.

So I flew down to New Mexico last week to help the women and families of Albuquerque make their voices heard: This is a private medical decision, best left to a woman, her family, and her doctor.

Since I landed, I’ve been nothing short of inspired. From the canvassers who have committed to knock on 12,500 doors over just four days, to the volunteers making thousands of phone calls, the Respect ABQ Women campaign is leaving no stone unturned.

I spent my Saturday afternoon with a group of older woman, who sat for hours making calls to other voters to explain why this ballot measure is so harmful. One woman, over 80 years old, wondered aloud, didn’t we win this fight 30 years ago? And she’s right – c’mon, this is 2013! We shouldn’t still be fighting government intrusion in our most private medical decisions. Albuquerque polls close tonight at 7pm MT and I’ll be live tweeting as the election returns come in tonight. You can follow us on Twitter, or track the conversation on Twitter under #respectabqwomen.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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