Albuquerque Voters Defeat Late-Term Abortion Ban

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I wasn’t there. What that means is that I don’t know exactly what arguments, claims and counter-claims led up to this vote.

What I do know is that Albuquerque voters turned back an attempt to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. We are talking about babies that a mere week or so later in the pregnancy might very well be able to survive if they were born normally and not murdered. I would guess that there were some pretty wild machinations involved in the campaign to “sell” late-term abortions to the public.

There is no reason, none, zip, nada, to do an abortion at this stage of pregnancy to save the mother’s life. Abortions at this time always involve putting the woman through a delivery. The difference is that the baby is deliberately killed first. Woman after woman, girl after girl has testified to the barbarity of “delivering” their dead babies alone in toilettes, hotel rooms and other non-medical places, all as part of a late-term abortion.

The difference between delivering the baby and then trying to save its life, as opposed to jabbing a needle through the mother’s abdomen to kill the baby and then forcing a fast labor and delivery and letting the woman deliver alone is the difference between

1. Good medical care for both mother and child

and

2. Infanticide.

So what convinced Albuquerque voters to come out against a measure that would ban this barbarity? What inspired the healthy voter margin of 45% to 55% in favor of late-term abortion?

I don’t know, but I’m guessing that it wasn’t the truth.

One thing I do know is that this business of killing babies late-term in pregnancy does not benefit “women’s health.”

From CBS News:

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICOVoters in New Mexico’s largest city soundly defeated a ban on late-term abortions in a municipal election that was being closely watched as a possible new front in the national abortion fight.

 Voters rejected the measure 55 percent to 45 percent on Tuesday following an emotional and graphic campaign that brought in national groups and hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising. The campaign included protests that compared abortion to the Holocaust and displayed pictures of aborted fetuses.

 Activists on both sides of the issue said it was the first municipal ballot measure on the matter, which usually is debated at the state and federal level. Abortion opponents hoped a victory in Albuquerque would create momentum nationally in their long-running fight to ban abortion.

 A coalition of abortion rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and Planned Parenthood, called the results a huge victory for Albuquerque women and families.

 “Albuquerque families sent a powerful message today – they do not want the government interfering in their private medical decisions,” Micaela Cadena, of the Respect ABQ Women campaign, said in a statement. “Dangerous, unconstitutional laws like the one we rejected today have no place in Albuquerque, no place in New Mexico, no place anywhere in our nation.”

 NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said, “We hope today’s resounding defeat of this abortion ban sends a clear message to the extreme forces around the country now trying to impose their agenda on cities around this country. “

 New Mexico’s attorney general had said the ban was unconstitutional, reports CBS Albuquerque affiliate KRQE-TV.

  • pagansister

    Unbelievable. That’s all I can say.

  • Heloise1

    I lived in Albuquerque for 5 long years. I had a business there that catered to teachers, public, private, tribal and homeschool. It is a very angry place. Very stressful. Very liberal. For a city that prides itself on it’s tri-cultural heritage, it holds a great measure of tension. I can’t say I’m surprised.

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      Thanks for your insight. It actually surprised me. Other than a couple of buisness trips over twenty-five years ago, I do not know Albuquerque.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    We on the pro-life side have had a string of victories recently, but this defeat stung somewhat. It was unexpected. This was actually curbing late term abortion and yet the voters supported it. Perhaps there was a local anomaly that caused our voters to not show up as expected. I can’t speak to that since I’m not from the area. But given the abortion industry that has spawned there, Albuquerque seems to be the number two abortion capital of the country, second to New York City.

    • kenofken

      String of victories? You’ve had a string of nothing lately, or for 40 years. You’ve had a seesaw of tactical maneuvers which have sought (and generally failed) to outlaw abortion a 16th of an inch at a time through onerous regulation. New Mexico is not an anomoly. It is a sign that you have not done the hearts and minds work to change the nation’s consensus on abortion. If you had changed the country’s core, gut feeling about the issue the way that has been done with, say, gay marriage, or marijuana, you would not be clawing your way toward one-step-forward, 5 steps back. The dominoes would be falling faster than you could push them all.

  • Bill S

    Yeah. Even I am against late term abortions. People need deadlines or they will put off tough decisions until they absolutely need to decide.

    Rebecca,

    Can you do a post about your governor and the National Guard. She won’t let gays’ spouses sign up for benefits.

    • hamiltonr

      Bill, it’s difficult for me to talk about the people I work with without violating their privacy. Also, this blog is a much bigger voice than any of them have, which puts me at an unfair advantage. I want the people I work with every day to know that they can trust me. It’s a matter of my personal integrity in how I deal with my co-workers.

      • Bill S

        I understand. From what I read, the governor won’t allow the National Guard to register same sex spouses for benefits that are being paid for by the federal government. When the National Guard pushed back, she discontinued the benefits to all National Guard employees.

    • cary_w

      A serious question, Bill, I understand the reasons for wanting to set some time limit, but why 20 weeks? The problem a lot of people have with bills like this is the arbitrary deadline. Why is it ok to have an abortion at 19 weeks but not 21? And what would you say to a woman whose high-risk pregnancy takes a sudden turn for the worse and becomes life threatening at 20 weeks? Yes, this is an unlikely scenario, but how would you feel if it happened to your wife or daughter?

      Also, since you feel there needs to be deadlines or women will put off tough decisions, how do you feel about bills that require waiting periods before getting abortions, and thus require women to put off a tough decision for a few days?

      • hamiltonr

        I’m going to butt in here, if that’s ok. First of all, the situation now is that abortion is allowed right up until the baby is delivered. Second, what sudden medical condition makes it necessary to kill they baby rather than just deliver it and try to save it’s life, too? Do you have any idea how barbaric late term abortions are for the woman? Two common methods have been to kill the baby first by injected poison in to the baby’s heart through the woman’s abdomen and then inducing labor. Another method, which was used here in at least one Oklahoma public hospital, was to induce such violent contractions in the woman that the contractions themselves killed the baby. Any babies that survived were left to die. NONE of this is beneficial to the woman’s health. It would actually be far more dangerous for a woman in a serious medical emergency to put her through this than it would be to deliver the baby and care for it.

        What you’re giving us is just an old ruse excuse with not real substance.

        There is no medical reason to do a late term abortion. It is always a procedure who’s only purpose is to kill the child.

      • Bill S

        I think there comes a point where the fetus has developed to the point that it is fully formed and capable of living outside the womb. I don’t think it should be aborted at that stage.

  • cary_w

    Rebecca,
    You seem baffled as to the reasons that the people of Albuquerque rejected this abortion ban, so as an insider in the pro-choice movement, I would like to try to explain it to you. I don’t claim to speak for the voters in Albuquerque, but these are my views and the views of most of the people I’ve worked with so I would assume they are wide spread among pro-choice activists.

    First off, we are not pro-abortion, we would like to see a reduction in the number of abortions in this country just as much as you would. No one is trying to “sell” late term abortions. But we feel these types of laws do nothing to reduce the number of abortions and only add stress and heartache to women who are already facing the tragedy of a pregnancy gone wrong.

    It is a sad, but indisputable fact, that things go wrong during pregnancies. Sometimes this put the mother’s life, health, and future childbearing abilities at risk, sometimes the baby has little or no chance of survival. Each pregnancy is different and each problem that occurs during that pregnancy is different. We are opposed to laws that set a time limit, like the 20 week ban, because they don’t take the individual nature of each pregnancy into account. Why 20 week? Why not 19 or 21? What if a high risk pregnancy turns deadly at 20 1/2 weeks? Each case is different so we feel each decision should be left up to the woman and her doctor. She should be the one to decide how much she is willing to risk her life or future health. As Micaela Cadena says, we do not want government interfering with a private medical decision. We feel that the pregnant woman has the intelligence, reasoning ability and intimate understanding of her condition to be able to make the right decisions about her own health and her own body without interference form the government.

    I understand and respect your opinions on abortions, what we disagree on is laws and policies. I really think that if you tried to understand the views of the pro-choice movement and talked to women who have faced the tragedy of a late term abortion, that we would be able to find some common ground. I know we will never agree on everything, but as you represent a large number of very diverse people, I think you should make a greater attempt to understand some of their differences and make some accommodation to them.

    Thank you for listening,
    Cary

    • hamiltonr

      Cary, this really doesn’t sound like an analysis of the vote. It sounds more like a statement of your personal opinions. It is fine to give your opinions. They just aren’t necessarily representative of the motivations that led to the vote outcome.

      • cary_w

        True, I certainly can’t claim to know what Albuquerque voters were thinking, but I think it would help you represent your constituents if you would listen to the reasons why some people vote against bills like this rather than dismissing them all as murderers.

        • hamiltonr

          I know a lot more about this than you seem to understand. I was once the Oklahoma Director for NARAL. As for representing my constituents, they’ve voted for me both when I was a pro choice person and after I had realized the full horror of what I had done and changed my views to pro life. I’ve been getting elected for 18 years now.

          Now, to get off me and back on the subject, you are free to express your opinions. Please do so. I would rather you didn’t try to claim them for everyone else, including the people of House District 89, but you can do that too, if you want. It won’t make it so, but … go for it.

          • cary_w

            Ok, back to the subject:

            “So what convinced Albuquerque voters to come out against a measure that would ban this barbarity? What inspired the healthy voter margin of 45% to 55% in favor of late-term abortion?
            I don’t know, but I’m guessing that it wasn’t the truth.”

            You asked these questions in your blog post, admitted you don’t know the answer, and I gave you my opinion of a possible answer in my first post. So, let’s have a debate. What do you think 55% of Albuquerque voters were thinking when they voted against this bill? And why do you think my answer is wrong?

            • Dale

              Cary, speculation on why the measure lost will remain speculation. There is no way to conclusively say.
              However, the tactics and strategy of the national pro-life groups seems to have fallen flat or backfired.

              “The signs, the graphic pictures, they hurt us much more than they helped us,” Elisa Martinez, executive director of Protect ABQ Women and Children,a local group formed to push for the measure, said in an interview on Wednesday, as she second-guessed some of the tactics used by national anti-abortion groups who joined the fight. “Instead of common-sense regulation, it became about extremism.

              http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/21/us/anti-abortion-forces-second-guess-tactics-after-ballot-defeat-in-albuquerque.html

              Similarly, reliance on national stereotypes about Hispanic women, instead of a more nuanced approach, may have hurt.

              As with any election, turning out the vote is key. The campaign waged by the pro-life side may have suppressed turnout among supporters. The national groups are already considering Albuquerque to be a learning experience, and vow to try again in other cities.

            • hamiltonr
  • Dale

    This is just one man’s opinion, but the Albuquerque Journal asked the president of polling and market research company why the proposal lost. His company is based in Albuquerque and focuses on New Mexico.

    He said that Albuqureque has become more liberal in recent years. The opposition did a good job turning out their base. The supporters weren’t so organized, and their “zealousness” may have deterred some voters.
    http://www.abqjournal.com/304288/news/abq-news/abq-clerk-aggressive-protesters-draw-complaints.html

    Polling by his company ahead of the election showed support for the ban outweighed opposition 54% to 39%.
    http://www.abqjournal.com/259923/news/more-voters-support-abortion-ban.html

    Approximately 24% of voters cast ballots, which is considered high for a municipal election. However, given the amount of campaigning from national organizations, I am surprised that turnout wasn’t higher.


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