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Taking on the Anti-Abortion Siege in Albuquerque and Beyond

Originally appeared in Revolution Newspaper at REVCOM.US

Albuquerque, New Mexico has become a national focal point in the struggle over abortion rights in this country because it is the city where two out of the four doctors left in the country who perform later abortions practice. As described in the piece below, this city was targeted for threatening and woman-hating protest by the fascist anti-abortion group Operation Rescue during mid-August and it will remain the focus of the anti-abortion movement as they work to close these abortion providers down. Albuquerque was also one of the final stops on the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride, a month-long caravan that traveled from both coasts and down the middle of the country to stand up for abortion rights this past summer. The following was written by a member of a Revolution Club and Abortion Rights Freedom Rider.

 

The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride was happy to be invited to a rally on August 20 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to denounce the anti-abortion organization “Operation Rescue” as terrorists. The organizers put this rally together in six days, after Operation Rescue descended on their town: circulating “Wanted Poster”-style postcards complete with abortion doctors’ faces and home addresses, terrorizing the Holocaust and Intolerance Museum and demanding they install an exhibit on the “abortion holocaust,” hanging baby dolls from lampposts, and screaming “murderer!” outside the clinic, the homes of providers, and other local pro-choice medical facilities. This nightmare week was part of a push led by Operation Rescue to pass a bill to ban abortion in Albuquerque after a woman reaches 20 weeks of pregnancy. Albuquerque is the only city in the state with abortion clinics, and is home to two of the four doctors in the whole nation who openly provide late-term abortions to women who need them.

Here is some important history about Operation Rescue, and their murderous intentions when it comes to the targeting of late-term abortion providers. In 2006, Troy Newman, leader of Operation Rescue, said about their focus on passing restrictions in Kansas, “We also want to give the women driving up from Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma about 2½ hours to think about what they’re doing, and maybe change their minds.” Then, in 2009, the murder of Dr. George Tiller in his church in Wichita, Kansas sent a clear and chilling message to abortion providers that provide women with the opportunity to end their pregnancy at any point (a.k.a. “late term” abortion). Scott Roeder, the anti-abortion gunman who murdered Dr. Tiller, had gotten Tiller’s home address as well as the address of his church from Cheryl Sullenger, the Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue. Sullenger served two years in prison for attempting to bomb an abortion clinic!

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No room for compromise: There IS a WAR ON WOMEN

Albuquerque is the only city in all of New Mexico that provides abortions.  Doctors there comprise two of the four in the nation that will still openly provide later term abortion to women who need them, since Dr. Tiller was murdered.

In the last year, Operation Rescue has moved their “missionaries” out to ABQ, and they have successfully put a 20-week abortion ban on the ballot for October 8th.  Last week, they imported OpRescue fascists from over the country and laid siege to this city.

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