I am packing up my presentation that included information about an underprivileged woman of color who died from an illegal abortion. As I am gathering cords from the projector, a sweet, blond/white haired woman approaches me. Looking at me with her sparkling big blue eyes, she gently asks if that abortion happened in the 1930s. Puzzled, I answer, “Yes” and she tells me that both her grandmothers had abortions in the 1930s but, being women of means, they had safe abortions. They lived to raise their families, to love and be loved by their children and grandchildren, and they lived to tell the story of their choice to other women in their family. My friends, making abortion illegal does not stop women from having abortions; it merely stops women from accessing safe abortions.
Woven through the fabric of our society, the women who terminate pregnancies are our sisters, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters, nieces, aunts, lay people, professionals. They are spiritual, religious, and atheist. They are our friends. One in four women in the United States have an abortion by the age of 45. It is almost certain that someone close to you has had an abortion. And it is equally true that they did not enter into that decision lightly. Your support for women is urgently needed now. Women need allies acting without judgment. As many of you know, the Senate’s failure to pass HB 51 during the 2019 New Mexico Legislature means that abortion remains a criminal act in our State. Although Roe v. Wade has kept access to safe abortions legal in New Mexico, it is looking more and more likely that it will be partially or fully overturned. That change means New Mexican women WILL lose access to safe abortions, and, once again, the least privileged will bear the highest burden.
Women need our unconditional support, and our lawmakers need to hear from us.
We are building the bridge to an inclusive representative democracy with equitable outcomes for all women while crossing it.
Flora Lucero, Chair
Democratic Party of Bernalillo County