Albuquerque became the first city to put a ban on late-term abortions on the ballot Monday. The Albuquerque city council voted to place a referendum outlawing abortion after 20 weeks within the city limits on the ballot.
The ballot initiative is a result of the lobbying of the pro life group Operation Rescue. It will be voted on November 17.
(Reuters) – A bill banning abortions in Albuquerque after 20 weeks of pregnancy will be put to voters in New Mexico’s most populous city in November and could become the first municipal abortion ban in the nation.
The city council voted 5-4 late on Monday to put on the ballot the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance,” which contains few of the standard abortion exceptions seen in many states.
In the latest salvo in the national debate over abortion, the city council was forced to act after abortion foes gathered enough signatures on a petition to require the council to either approve the law outright or put it to voters.
Local polling has shown the measure has enough support to pass. Activists on both sides say it would be the first municipal ban on abortion, and possibly a template for similar actions in other cities around the United States.
“It is a new strategy. There is more than one way to close an abortion clinic,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, a leading U.S. anti-abortion group that helped get the measure on the November 19 ballot in Albuquerque.
“If you can’t get anything done in a state legislature … you look at what is going on in a city. They say all politics is local. This is a great example of that.” (Read more here.)