New Voices Otero protests county, city's abortion sanctuary declaration

·2 min read

Following the City of Alamogordo declaring itself a sanctuary for the unborn, progressive group New Voices Otero held a protest on the corner of 10th Street and White Sands Boulevard to express displeasure with the city's declaration.

"We're here to protest the fact that Tuesday night, the Alamogordo City (Commission) voted five-to-two to pass a resolution making Alamogordo a sanctuary for the unborn," protester Shari Adkisson said. "I think that's unfair, unenforceable and ridiculous."

The majority of public comment at the Tuesday, Aug. 2 special Alamogordo City Commission meeting were people against the resolution. Mary Louise Kuti, who was of those speakers, was at the protest.

"We are the majority," Kuti said. "The majority spoke at the meeting. The majority also wrote in to voice their concerns that were also read and the majority should be represented in City government."

New Voices Otero founder and spokeswoman Natalie Wilkins agreed with Kuti.

"A big goal of our group is to make sure that people are heard and that we want representatives that are representing us in a strong and accurate way," Wilkins said. "We're not seeing that in Otero County or Alamogordo and we want people to know that we're here and we're going to fight for what's right."

One person at the protest who was not protesting the resolution approved by the City of Alamogordo on Aug. 2 was District 2 Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin.

Griffin spoke with several protesters including Democratic nominee for the District 2 Otero County Commission seat Stephanie DuBois.

"This is what our country is supposed to be about," Griffin said. "People are supposed to be able to come out, voice their opinion and we need to be able to communicate and to be able to do so respectfully and listen to one another if we're ever going to heal this country."

Griffin expressed his disappointment in was the lack of a presence of the other side of the argument, those who were for the resolution declaring Alamogordo a sanctuary for the unborn.

"It's too bad that more (of the opposing side) don't come out," Griffin said. "Especially our pastors in our community."

The protest was one of many that have come since the U.S. Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe V. Wade was leaked in May.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade June 24 which has affected local governments, two of which have declared themselves "sanctuaries."

Otero County unanimously declared itself a "sanctuary for life" at its July 14 regular meeting and, more recently, the City of Alamogordo declared itself a "sanctuary for the unborn" at its special meeting Aug. 2.

The Alamogordo declaration was approved 5 to 2, with votes against coming from Mayor Susan Payne and District 5 City Commissioner Sharon McDonald.

Protesters on the corner of 10th Street and White Sands Boulevard at the New Voices Otero protest about the City Of Alamogordo's August 2, 2022 resolution declaring Alamogordo a sanctuary for the unborn.
Protesters on the corner of 10th Street and White Sands Boulevard at the New Voices Otero protest about the City Of Alamogordo's August 2, 2022 resolution declaring Alamogordo a sanctuary for the unborn.

Nicole Maxwell can be contacted by email at nmaxwell@alamogordonews.com, by phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter.

This article originally appeared on Alamogordo Daily News: New Voices Otero protest against sanctuary for unborn declaration