Voters came together in Albuquerque to resoundingly reject an antiabortion initiative that would’ve banned abortions after 20 weeks. The record-breaking turnout resulted in more than 87,000 voters, in which 50,000 voted early or by absentee ballot. The measure lost by about 10 percentage points.
“Albuquerque voters respected women and sent a clear message here and across the country that voters reject callous attempts to take away complex, personal decisions from women, their families, and their faith,” said Adriann Barboa, of the Respect ABQ Women and field director for Strong Families New Mexico. Supporters of the measure said they were disappointed but would not give up.
“We’re still going to be there for women and their unborn babies,” said Maria Gallegos, a spokeswoman with Project Defending Life, an Albuquerque antiabortion organization.
The proponents issued a graphic campaign that included a protest comparing abortion to the Holocaust. The initiative was ignited by Tara and Bud Shaver, who are self-proclaimed pro-life missionaries. They relocated to New Mexico from Kansas, which is known as a haven of anti-abortion activism, aiming to start a campaign to destroy Southwestern Women’s Options, one of a handful of clinics in the country that provide later-term abortions.
“When we moved here three years ago, our goal was just to bring awareness to what was happening here,” said Tara Shaver, who vowed she and her husband would never back down. “This is a little deviation from that. We’re going to move forward and keep focusing on that and keep strengthening our effort in the streets.”
It’s amazing to see Albuquerque voters represent themselves so strongly in the right for women to choose. Unfortunately, pro-life advocates have made it abundantly clear that they will not give up the fight, even if the majority of the people vote against their favor.