Anti-abortion Extremists Exploit COVID-19, Harass Women & Endanger Lives

It’s hard to miss: social media posts, newspaper articles, TV news segments, emails, text messages, billboards… all directing residents to stay at home unless essential services are needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. So why are anti-abortion extremists in New Mexico (and nationally) still gathering in front of medical facilities to harass women who are seeking reproductive care? 

Extremists like Right to Life New Mexico, 40 Days for Life New Mexico, the Sidewalk Advocates for Life and Abortion Free New Mexico mock the severity of the COVID-19 global pandemic with their actions which, ironically, endanger their own lives and the lives of their members, in addition to clinic patients. Amid this global pandemic, these groups are seen gathering to harass women who are seeking abortion and other forms of reproductive healthcare at local clinics. 

To the detriment of their members, these extremist groups are deliberately misleading their followers, spreading dangerously false information that “we’re close to a cure” for COVID-19 (See graphic below), endangering the lives of their members, the families that live with them and the public they subsequently interact with. The apparent “right to life” groups seem to have a blatant disregard for the living. 

It’s no surprise that extremist marching orders seem to be coming from Donald Trump, who, despite his own advisors warning the public about the severity of the pandemic, continues a drumbeat that underplays the severity of the outbreak here in the United States. 

But anti-abortion groups are no stranger to blocking access to healthcare, no matter the cost to human lives. Alongside a history of violence and bombings at abortion clinics, the exploitation of COVID-19 is one of the many disgusting and opportunistic actions this “movement” has engaged in- from the national level, all the way down to our neighborhoods. 

In case you missed it, here are some more recent examples:

At the national level, anti-abortion lawmakers snuck dangerous anti-abortion language into the coronavirus bill.In several states across the U.S. anti-abortion lawmakers have deemed abortion as non-essential, endangering the lives of women across their state who are seeking medical care.

Hundreds Advocate to Keep Abortion Safe and Legal at Respect NM Women Day of Action

By Erica Davis-Crump, ProgressNow NM Reproductive Justice Organizing & Content Associate

This week, hundreds of New Mexicans showed up to continue the stand for abortion access and reproductive justice. Respect New Mexico Women Coalition led the charge to help families find their lawmakers to make sure their voices were heard. The pressure is on New Mexico lawmakers to keep abortion safe and legal in our state, as the potential gutting of Roe. v Wade hangs in the balance within the coming months. 

Generations of families and women’s healthcare supporters flooded the roundhouse despite the snowy and icy weather conditions. (The epitome of “…  but nevertheless, she persisted.”) There is usually angst and animosity on rally/lobby days for the anti-abortion extremists.

GOP “Big Tent” Event is Small Circus Flop

It was an event that had been publicized for months- the Republican Party partnered with Cowboys for Trump (the GOP mouthpiece for their disgraced presidential candidate) to tout their “conservative unity” rally. It was meant to bring together anti-abortion extremists, gun extremists, and anyone from anti-vaxxers to the anti-taxers. The reality of the event? GOP staffers, a few speakers and a handful of horses. The GOP-organized event was a flop; most people inside the Roundhouse didn’t even know it was happening.

Abortion Bans Are About Power & Control of Women’s Bodies.

For any one of us who has been a survivor of rape, molestation, sexual harassment or domestic violence, we have been told over and over that these forms of abuse take place because the abuser wants to assert power and control over our bodies. Across the United States, there is an epidemic of politicians, governments and extremists who are trying to assert power and control over our bodies by means of banning abortion- a personal decision that should always remain between a person and their doctor. By taking away our personal decision-making abilities, we are being stripped of respect, and being stripped of autonomy. Anti-abortion extremists spend millions of dollars to shame, pressure, punish and harass us- proving that their interest is not about morals or religion: it’s about power and control. New Mexico has an old abortion ban on the books.

ProgressNow NM Names Big Election Day Winners!

Tuesday night was another HUGE night for female candidates, public schools and progressive values up and down New Mexico ballots! Are you confused about ranked-choice races and races that resulted in a run-off? No worries! We’re here to give you the scoop on top races we watched. It’s time for an election rundown!

Same-Day Voter Registration & Municipal Elections: What You Need to Know!

Sometimes, finding all the voting information you need in one place is hard! Look no further, friends! ProgressNow NM is here for you every step of the way- from early voting and same-day registration to Election Day and voting locations. See below for a one-and-done guide to getting your vote on! Important Dates (Statewide)

October 8- Absentee Ballots MailedOctober 8- November 2- Statewide in-person registration and early voting at County Clerk’s Offices, 8am-5pm.October 19-November 2- Statewide expanded early voting.

ALEC Exposed: Names of NM Elected Officials LEAKED

Some elected officials hold town halls to listen to constituents. Some send out surveys and others hold gatherings at parks or churches. 

In New Mexico, however, some elected officials and community leaders choose to get their marching orders from corporations with extreme Right Wing agendas. 

Enter ALEC: The American Legislative Exchange Council. If you haven’t heard of this group before, you may have seen some of their policies either at the Roundhouse here in New Mexico or at the national level. They’re a Washington-D.C.-based, corporate-sponsored “think tank” that basically believes our society should be run like Gilead- see Handmaid’s Tale for reference, or, click here for a list of their bills. (Spoiler alert: abortion bans, “Right-to-Work” laws, privatization of public schools, voter suppression, climate change denial, etc.)

A couple of weeks ago, ALEC held their conference in Austin, Texas.