Skip to comments.Albuquerque Votes on Late-Term Abortion Ban
Posted on 11/18/2013 6:37:44 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Albuquerque is pulling a Texas. A coalition of pro-life activists has managed the improbable: Theyve gotten a ballot measure set for a vote on Tuesday that would ban abortions in the city after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Their efforts have drawn national attention as well as national money and, if successful, would break ground for the pro-life movement by making Albuquerque the first city in the nation with such a ban. Its not just about making history, though: According to Politico, the city has two of the few clinics in the country that perform late-term abortions, and the measure, if successful, would force them to stop performing the procedures or move elsewhere.
The Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life organization, has spent thousands on the effort. Its sent a campaign manager and field director to the city, and its also run TV ads pushing for the measure (including one 30-second spot featuring a former abortionist). Executive director Emily Buchanan tells me her organization hopes the Albuquerque effort will inspire nationwide change.
Pro-lifers in Albuquerque are putting their foot down and saying not here, not in Albuquerque, we dont want late-term abortion in our city, she tells National Review Online. And so we hope it inspires a national movement.
Town Hall reports that President Obamas Organizing for Action has campaigned against the measure, and Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are also working against the ban. Despite concerted opposition from abortion advocates, Buchanan says shes confident pro-lifers will get a win Tuesday.
Part of the reason for that confidence? Activists say they collected 27,000 signatures in just two and a half weeks and, according to the Albuquerque Journal, they needed only 12,091 to get the measure on the ballot. Sarah Wilson, who helped start the campaign and is vice president of the Catholic Coalition of New Mexico, tells NRO that her group was floored by the outpouring of support.
Its no credit to us, she says of the signature-gathering success. We were not organized. It just happened. It was amazing. Catholics were pretty convinced it must have been the Holy Spirit.
It was a mad rush, but everything happened so perfectly, she adds.
Catholic and Evangelical congregations have been instrumental through the process. Ninety-six percent of the signatures were gathered after Masses and church services, she says, and many pastors and priests have been very supportive.
Elisa Martinez of Protect Albuquerque Women and Children tells NRO that a core group of about 75 to 100 volunteers has been working phone banks, canvassing, and organizing get-out-the-vote efforts. Part of the idea for the effort, she says, came from a citywide minimum-wage referendum last year; when pro-lifers saw the moves success, they decided to use the same tool to limit abortions. And, she adds, Texass 20-week abortion ban also inspired them.
An abortion clinics consent form also has come into play. The website of Martinezs group links to a PDF of the form that one of the Albuquerque abortion clinics requires women to sign; the form clearly states that having an abortion after 18 weeks is more dangerous than carrying the pregnancy to term.
Its a very troubling, very barbaric, very unnecessary procedure that the public needs to continue to have a discourse about and bring to light, Martinez says.
And Wilson says she hopes the ban, if successful, will put pressure on state legislators to pass a law like Texass. Pro-life bills typically die in committee, she notes. But a citywide ban might make lawmakers realize that theres appetite for change.
Betsy Woodruff is a William F. Buckley Fellow at the National Review Institute.
New Mexico PING!!
There will be an opportunity to check the box for the Albuquerque fund.
SBA makes extremely good use of small amounts of money, and runs brilliant shoestring campaigns.