A coalition of abortion-rights activists, local politicians and members of the Jewish community held a rally Tuesday afternoon in downtown Albuquerque to denounce and demand protection from domestic terrorism. About 200 people gathered on Civic Plaza and listened, as rally organizers blasted out-of-state anti-abortion activists for terrorist acts, including inappropriate protests and demonstrations at the New Mexico Holocaust & Intolerance Museum, a birthing center and the office of a local family physician.
The rally comes little more than two weeks after teens from a California-based teen anti-abortion group converged on the museum, holding a large banner declaring, “ABQ: America’s Aushwitz [sic],” while others passed out graphic photos of aborted fetuses and “wanted-style” postcards with pictures, names and addresses of local doctors. The teens were in town as a part of a public-awareness campaign supporting a proposed ballot measure to restrict late-term abortions within Albuquerque city limits.
While former Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, the rally's first speaker, gave a brief account of life before Roe v. Wade, a female rally-goer could be heard shouting, “NO MORE COAT HANGERS.” Denish recalled the days when women had to take “desperate measures” to end unwanted pregnancies.
“I am a mother of two daughters and a grandmother of two granddaughters, and I want them to have the same rights to safe abortion that has been legal for the past 40 years,” she said.
The measure, if approved, would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks, unless medical professionals deemed the pregnancy a threat to the mother’s health; it would not allow exceptions for cases of rape, incest or severe fetal anomaly. Albuquerque voters will have to decide the measure during a special election, because there isn't enough time for the City Council to approve the resolution for October’s upcoming ballot.