By Cheryl Sullenger
Albuquerque, NM – Before the vote was in on the Albuquerque Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance, activists in Valencia County, just south of Albuquerque, began the process of passing a similar law on the county level. Last week, County Commissioners voted 3-2 to forward the ordinance to a public hearing set for December 11.
While no late-term abortion clinics exist in Valencia County, citizens were concerned that Southwestern Women’s Options, one of the few abortion clinics in the nation that will abort babies through all nine months of pregnancy, might attempt to relocate there if the Albuquerque effort had been successful.
With help from Bud and Tara Shaver of Project Defending Life, who gained valuable experience during the Albuquerque campaign, Valencia County activists continue to pursue their ordinance as insurance in the event a future attempt to ban late-term abortions in Albuquerque is successful.
In Valencia County, the legislative process differs from neighboring Albuquerque, where signatures were required to send the initiative to a city-wide vote. Already, the Valencia County effort has cleared several hurdles on its way to becoming law.
“This is a small glimpse of what we hope will spread across the nation as pro-lifers work to end abortion altogether at the city and county levels,” said Tara Shaver. “We applaud the Valencia County commissioners for taking on the responsibility to protect its citizens and the county itself from dangerous late term abortions. This can be viewed as a preventative measure that should be applied far and wide to prevent new abortion businesses from opening as well as closing those already killing babies.”
Already the Shavers are aware of several efforts in several cities across America that are organizing to propose abortion restrictions at the local level. Many activists are working quickly, with planning meetings scheduled before the year is out.
“In light of this new strategy, birthed in Albuquerque to enact pro-life laws and restrict abortions at the local level, we urge pro-lifers in every city to locate a pro-life attorney, contact their city councilors, county commissioners, and to research their city and county charters. Cities with strong conservative majorities on city councils and county boards should move quickly to introduce and enact pro-life laws. In those cities without sympathetic leaders, we urge you to follow the process and bring the vote to the people. The goal is to save as many lives as possible and this is just one way to do it effectively,” stated Bud Shaver spokesperson for Project Defending Life.
Meanwhile in Albuquerque, the city council is taking steps to change the city charter to make direct legislative initiatives more difficult. While the council justifies the changes as cost-saving measures, it is more likely that a socially-liberal majority on the council is more interested in protecting the abortion businesses that flourish in Albuquerque with little or no accountability.
While the Albuquerque Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance was voted down last month after national abortion groups, including Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and even Pres. Barack Obama’s own political action organization, outspent pro-life groups 4-1, the Shavers are convinced that the strategy of passing local ordinances to restrict abortion are a trend of the future.
“We are seeking to assist local and national groups in implementing this new strategy across America. This is a new trend that we believe will be incredibly effective in limiting or ending abortion at the local level and we look forward to working closely with local, state, and national groups to implement this strategy,” said Tara Shaver.
Those interested in implementing this strategy should contact Tara Shaver at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-319-7825 to learn more.
Marching On: ABQ Pro-Life Initiative Advances in Neighboring County
By Cheryl Sullenger