By Bud Shaver,
Albuquerque, New Mexico- On March 26, the Albuquerque Journal reached out to us and spoke with Tara Shaver, spokeswoman for Abortion Free New Mexico to get our perspective about how the overturning of Roe vs. Wade has impacted pro-life efforts in New Mexico.
For years now, New Mexico has been an abortion magnet because of the horrific and barbaric 3rd trimester abortions that have recently halted. However, Abortion Free New Mexico along with other pro-life groups saw the number of abortions steadily decline year after year. It’s no surprise that with Roe overturned and New Mexico’s extreme Democrat legislature, that abortion facilities are on the rise and out of state women traveling to obtain abortions are a daily sight.
Thankfully, the pro-life community has stepped up in many ways to combat this evil that seeks to overtake our state. Abortion Free New Mexico is grateful that the ABQ Journal was willing to extensively capture and report about the heart of our ministry.
Our efforts were highlighted in two articles featured on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal, Sunday edition (3/26/2023).
#1) NM abortions on the rise (excerpt below)
As more abortion patients travel to New Mexico, the number of people holding prayer vigils and protests — carrying signs that offer to adopt a baby or quote Bible verses — to try to dissuade people from entering the clinics has grown, too.
Tara Shaver a self-described “pro-life missionary” who founded Abortion Free New Mexico with her husband, Bud Shaver, said the group used to have about 10 or 15 volunteers. Now, she said, they have about 70 and they have established a program to have people out on the sidewalks more regularly.
“It’s interesting to see how New Mexicans have responded in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned,” Shaver said. “Of course it kind of puts a fire under people to realize that there’s so much more that needs to be done on a daily basis.”
The volunteers pray and hold signs if they want to — the Shavers offer one that simply says “Pregnant? We can help” and provides a phone number.
“We really just care for these women, we believe that every woman deserves to know the truth and deserves to know that there are other options, viable options, to abortion,” Shaver said. “Women should never feel pressured or put in a corner that abortion is their only option.”
She pointed out that the rate of abortions in the state had been low in the years before Roe was overturned. Data provided to the Journal from the state Department of Health shows a steady decrease from 3,761 in 2011 to 2,618 in 2021, the most recent year for which complete data was available.
As Shaver and her volunteers started seeing more people with Texas license plates in the parking lots of Albuquerque clinics, they began reaching out to those who provide resources in that state in order to offer “positive alternatives to what could be a very traumatic abortion experience.”
Shaver touts two success stories: women who had come to New Mexico in October and November and ended up changing their minds, giving birth to a girl and boy this year.
“To see them now holding their babies is just a reward in and of itself,” Shaver said. “We’re just really happy for the moms and proud of them because they have something to show for their unplanned pregnancy, so to speak, and their crisis situation.”
New Mexico is one of six states plus Washington, D.C., where there are no restrictions on when an abortion can be done during a pregnancy. But the only clinic in the state to provide the procedure after 24 weeks stopped doing so earlier this year.
Among the best known “pro-life missionaries” are Tara and Bud Shaver and their group — now called Abortion Free New Mexico. They moved to New Mexico because of Southwestern Women’s Options.
“Our part whenever we first moved here in 2010 was really to do investigative research and undercover projects and just to kind of paint the picture of what the abortion industry looks like,” Tara Shaver said in an interview last week.
She said they would obtain 911 calls — with personal identifying information redacted — and use them “to show people the kinds of injuries that could occur in an abortion facility.” They have filed complaints to the state Medical Board and succeeded in getting it to launch formal reviews into providers from Southwestern Women’s Options.
Their ranks of volunteers conducting prayer vigils and protests on sidewalks outside of clinics grew after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, Shaver said. They document when ambulances come and go.
“We really want to make doing abortions in New Mexico as uncomfortable as possible and we want to document the reality of what’s happening in these places,” Shaver said. “The pro-abortion side says that abortion should be safe, legal and rare. But they’re never safe for the unborn child.”
Shaver called Southwestern Women’s Options pause of abortions after 24 weeks a “small victory, certainly, for the third trimester babies” and said she does not believe there should be any exceptions for fetal abnormalities.
“If their baby has a fetal abnormality then we’re going to be there and support them through the whole process,” she said. “If their baby is not going to survive very long outside the womb at least she’s going to have a chance to hold her baby, bond with him or her and have a chance to meet them as opposed to taking their life prematurely, and always wondering what may have been.”
Now is the best time to get more involved. Please consider partnering with us by being on the frontlines, joining our team of volunteers, or by becoming a monthly donor. Women deserve better than abortion and unborn children should have the right to life outside the womb. We have an unprecedented opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community, so we hope you’ll join us!
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