The campaign website for a pro-life group supporting the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection ordinance in Albuquerque, N.M., has been hacked, and email meant to go to the pro-life ABQ Voters for Late-Term Abortion Ban PAC has instead been redirected to the abortion-supporting group Respect ABQ Women, which opposes the ordinance.
The Pain-Capable ordinance, which goes to a vote Nov. 19, is the first of its kind to be proposed at the municipal level and would ban abortions after 20 weeks within Albuquerque city limits, where the largest late-term abortion clinic in the nation currently operates. The campaign has received national attention.
Tara Shaver, chairperson for the pro-life PAC, was shocked to learn that official campaign email was landing in the inbox of the opposition and was concerned citizens who tried to contact them might be confused into voting the wrong way.
"It's not just our email that was hijacked," she says. "This act was meant to hijack the election and thwart the will of the people. We have reported this criminal behavior to the FBI as a cybercrime. All we want is a fair up-or-down vote on an ordinance that has received overwhelming support from the community and will save thousands of lives. The people should be the ones to decide if they want to protect babies that are halfway through pregnancy and older. It shouldn't be up to some cowardly hackers who are trying to subvert the process."
Operation Rescue published a video on YouTube documenting how the email was redirected.
"Campaign dirty tricks like this are despicable," says Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue. "I hope the people of Albuquerque do not let these bullies and criminals win in their effort to derail a fair campaign. We urge voters to respond by resolving to turn out and vote for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection ordinance on Nov. 19."
Sullenger will be in Albuquerque later in the week to lend support for the campaign.
Shaver also told Operation Rescue she has heard anecdotal reports that students at the University of New Mexico have been approached by people opposing the ordinance who have illegally offered to pay students to vote against it. Shaver has also reported this potential voter fraud to the FBI.