Abortion battle goes local in New Mexico as Albuquerque votes on 20-week ban

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Three years after Dr. George Tiller, one of the few doctors who openly advertised that he performed late-term abortions, was killed by a protester in Wichita, Kan., two of his fellow doctors now practice at Southwestern Women’s Options, a late-term abortion clinic in Albuquerque.

And the controversy that surrounded Tiller has moved with them — though this time the battleground isn’t at the clinic door or the barrel of a gun, but rather on voters’ ballots.

On Tuesday, Albuquerque voters will be asked whether to approve a ban on abortions after 20 weeks. It’s the same kind of ban that has passed in Texas and more than a dozen other states, but this is the first time it has been put up for a direct vote and the first to cover a specific city.

Advocates say their chief target in the vote is Dr. Curtis Boyd and his staff at Southwestern Women’s Options, a nondescript one-story building just off Interstate 25 that draws patients from across the country and, according to its opponents, even from other countries.

“Because Curtis Boyd is employing George Tiller’s former abortionists, they’re being able to reap the referral system that George Tiller had in place. Because Curtis Boyd has hired Shelley Sella and Susan Robinson, he’s now taken his network,” said Tara Shaver, a pro-life missionary who was an intern for Operation Rescue in Wichita before moving to Albuquerque, where she and her husband work for Project Defending Life.

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