By Bud Shaver





Albuquerque, New Mexico- According to the most recent data, published in 2019 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New Mexico unfortunately leads the nation with the highest percentage of late-term abortions. In other words, late-term abortions represent 11.6% of all abortions performed in New Mexico. TABLE 10 of the CDC Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2019 report shows that New Mexico performed 406 late-term abortions (over 21 weeks gestation) which was 11.6% of the total number of abortions performed in the state (3,485) that year. By comparison, of the 43 states that met the CDC’s reporting requirements, (Nine states, California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York State, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin either did not report, did not report by gestational age, or did not meet reporting standards) Florida performed the most abortions according to TABLE 10 with 71,914 in 2019, however, 217 or 0.3% of the total number of abortions performed in Florida were over 21 weeks gestation. 


Since 2010, Abortion Free New Mexico leaders Bud and Tara Shaver have reported (and coined the designation) that Albuquerque, New Mexico is the, “late-term abortion capital of the country” based on the groundbreaking research and undercover investigations that they have conducted. Virtually every major news source in the country has reported on this fact. 

The New York Times was one of the earliest to report that Albuquerque, New Mexico is known as the “late-term abortion capital of the country” in 2013:

Albuquerque has become the latest flash point in the abortion wars, with Operation Rescue, the militant group based in Kansas, calling it the “late-term abortion capital of the country.” This is because a private clinic, Southwestern Women’s Options, is one of only a few nationwide that offers abortions after the sixth month of pregnancy.

The drive for a city referendum has been led here by a couple who trained with Operation Rescue in Kansas and moved here three years ago as anti-abortion “missionaries.”

“We felt called to come and serve in Albuquerque,” said Tara Shaver, 29. She and her husband, Bud, moved here largely to find a way to shut down Southwestern Women’s Options, she said.

The CDC report Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2019 published on November 26, 2021 confirms what Abortion Free New Mexico has been sounding the alarm on for many years. 

It is important to note that while New Mexico performed the second highest number (406) of late-term abortions in 2019 behind New York City (1,096) only 2.2 percent of the total number of abortions performed (49,784) in New York City were late-term abortions. Additionally, according to a survey conducted by Abortion Free New Mexico, in conjunction with this report, no abortion clinic in the entire state of New York will perform an abortion beyond 24 weeks gestation. New Mexico on the other hand will perform full-term abortions up to the day of birth. In fact, Abortion Free New Mexico conducted an undercover investigation in 2017 that revealed that late-term abortionists at Southwestern Women’s Options located in Albuquerque, New Mexico will perform a full-term abortion at 37 weeks of pregnancy. 
The designation that Albuquerque, New Mexico is the “late-term abortion capital of the country” takes into consideration not only the high number of late-term abortions performed after 20-21 weeks gestation, but also the fact that New Mexico has become the hub for abortion tourism where women travel to New Mexico for full-term abortions well into the third trimester because their state has either:

  1. Enacted common sense legislation prohibiting late-term abortions, or
  2. As is the case with the handful of radically pro-abortion states, where there aren’t necessarily laws restricting abortions, abortionists regulate themselves by refusing to perform abortions beyond a certain point.

For example, while New York performs abortions over 21 weeks gestation, women travel from New York to New Mexico to obtain third trimester abortions. In fact, in 2013 Abortion Free New Mexico leaders, with the help of Operation Rescue brought national attention to the fact that a woman was severely injured after traveling from New York to obtain an abortion at 35 weeks gestation at Southwestern Women’s Options, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

​Southwestern Women’s Options, owned and operated by Curtis Boyd who specializes in third trimester abortions, is drawing women from all across the nation, and even the world, for the latest possible full-term abortions. Disturbingly, Albuquerque based late-term abortionist, Curtis Boyd, takes great pride in this. A fact that he openly admitted when asked in a 2017 interview,

So when he’s asked about what he thinks when he hears Albuquerque described as “the late-term abortion capital of the nation”—a term the Shavers take credit for coining—Boyd responds wryly.

“A great sense of pride,” he says.

​It is necessary to note that both Maryland and Colorado are also destinations for third-trimester abortions, however Maryland did not meet the CDC reporting requirements and according to the CDC data, Colorado performed 173 late-term abortions (1.3 percent of the total abortion rate) in 2019 compared to 406 late-term abortions performed in New Mexico.

​Late-term abortions are performed over a 3-4 day period. It includes an injection into the mother’s womb on the first day which causes a fetal heart attack. Over the course of the next few days, the cervix is artificially dilated so that the mother can be induced to deliver her stillborn child. This is called the induction method and occurs at an out patient clinic setting or in a local hotel. Late-term abortions are never performed when the mother’s life is at risk, the procedure alone takes too much time to benefit a woman who is in a dire situation. In fact, this abortion method has many risks and is responsible for the death of at least one local New Mexico woman, Keisha Atkins in 2017. A late-term abortion in New Mexico can cost as much as $17,000.

​The University of New Mexico (UNM) also performs late-term abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy at their free standing abortion facility in Albuquerque, NM. This location in particular is the the focus of Abortion Free New Mexico’s “No Sidewalk Without the Savior” prayer campaign that is launching on April 1, 2022. For more information and to sign up click here.

Tara Shaver of Abortion Free New Mexico issued the following statement,

“New Mexico currently has zero laws protecting pregnant women and their unborn babies from dangerous and barbaric late-term abortions. It is the absence of laws and the unwillingness of our legislators to come to the table to seek the wellbeing of both mother and child that has made us an abortion magnet, even in the latest stages of pregnancy. Abortion Free New Mexico is working many angles to build a culture that protects life, because every life is unique, precious and