On July 1, several hundred gathered in Robinson Park in downtown Albuquerque for a protest in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade. In the days and weeks prior since the leak of the Dobbs decision in early May, many different organizations responded in Albuquerque and across the country to demand protections for abortion.
In New Mexico, the PSL and other organizations led a successful struggle two years ago to overturn the state’s automatic “trigger law” that would have outlawed abortion in the state immediately following the repeal of Roe. But while abortion rights are relatively safe in New Mexico, many in the state were still enraged by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case that ended access to abortion in many states across the country.
Protesters at the July 1 rally called on Governor Grisham and President Biden to take aggressive and positive action. A series of short speeches by PSL members and others called for action and a building choruses of chants followed the march that went down Central Avenue and led to the Federal Building.
Marchers chanted, “Voting blue is not enough; Democrats, we call your bluff!” Speakers drew attention to the fact that despite the Democrats control of the state of New Mexico, as well as the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the White House, abortion rights were still overturned.
Speakers and participants made connections between the fight for abortion rights and many other struggles. The crowd consistently and militantly chanted, “When trans rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” and “When I say women, you say power! Women! Power!” Others spoke to the issues of domestic abuse, racism, and militarism. The connection was also made to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives, a movement for justice for women and other Indigenous people that have been killed and have received little or no help, or justice, from the New Mexican or federal government.
At the federal building, seven demands were made, each to roars and applause by the people there. The demands included:
1. Open abortion clinics on federal lands and in military hospitals
2. Declare a national public health emergency
3. Prepare the Justice Department to fight states’ attempts to criminalize travel for abortions
4. Grant federal employees paid leave of absence to travel to other states for abortions
5. Call on the Senate to abolish the filibuster
6. Create a federal education campaign on medical abortion and the use of abortion pills
7. Call for the Supreme Court to be expanded, or better yet, abolished.
After the event, several dozen people stayed to debrief and discuss the next steps in the struggle.