Grassroots effort could end late-term abortion in Albuquerque
By Adelaide Mena
Pro-life advocates pray with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima in front of the Planned Parenthood Surgical Center in Albuquerque, March 20, 2013. Credit: Rose Marie Nalburg.
Pro-life advocates pray with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima in front of the Planned Parenthood Surgical Center in Albuquerque, March 20, 2013. Credit: Rose Marie Nalburg.

.- A citizen-initiated ordinance to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy in Albuquerque, N.M., will receive a vote on Nov. 19 and could have a big impact on the abortion-friendly state.

“This election is historic and has national implications, as it is the first time in our nation's history that the issue of abortion is on a stand-alone ballot for the citizens to decide,” said Elisa Martinez, executive director of Protect Albuquerque Women and Children.

“Albuquerque residents are energized to support and vote for the ban in face of the medical and scientific evidence that unborn babies experience tremendous pain during these horrific late-term abortion procedures,” she told CNA.

The legislation is being presented as a stand-alone special ballot initiative, meaning that it will be the only topic in the special Nov. 19 election.

If passed, the legislation would only affect New Mexico’s largest city, but pro-life groups say it could have a tremendous impact given the state’s loose abortion regulations, among the most unregulated in the country.

New Mexico currently “has no restrictions on abortion,” permitting the procedure throughout the entire pregnancy, up until the day of birth, explained Emily Buchanan, executive vice president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.

This has enabled the state to become a safe haven for late-term abortion, and “Albuquerque is known as the abortion capital of the West.”

Passing the legislation “would have an immediate effect on shutting down the notorious late-term abortionist Curtis Boyd,” who runs an abortion clinic within city limits, Buchanan explained, and “it would have an immediate effect on saving the lives of these unborn babies.”

Martinez added that “three of the five of the nation's know late-term abortionists fly in to perform this dangerous procedure” at the Albuquerque clinic.

Though the initiative is the only question on the ballot, and New Mexico is considered a “blue state,” primarily voting Democratic in state and national elections, the citizen-initiated measure is being met with support.

The initiative was placed on the ballot with more than 27,000 signatures of support. Buchanan told CNA that 54 percent of Albuquerque residents support the ordinance, and support levels are even higher among Hispanic residents.

Though the special election will be held on Nov. 19, “early voting has already begun,” Buchanan continued. However, the “election is all based on turnout,” and Election Day will be an important and “unique opportunity for pro-life voters to take a stance, to vote to protect unborn children.”

In the weeks leading up to the election, abortion activists have tried to counteract support for the initiative, raising more than $200,000 for television advertisements and activism, according to Susan B. Anthony List.

This shows that the importance of the initiative is understood clearly by both sides, Buchanan said.

“This is why the late-term abortion extremists here have aligned themselves with Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and others who have dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign to defeat our grassroots measure.”

Tags: Abortion, Abortion Regulation

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