The defeat of the pro-life measure, by a vote of 55 percent to 45 percent, followed an emotional campaign by activists on both sides of the issue, including protests that compared abortion to the Holocaust and signs around the city that included graphic images of pre-born babies mutilated by the abortion process.
The referendum is believed to be the first time voters in a single community have voted on a proposed abortion ban. Had it passed, the measure would have banned the murderous procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy with few exceptions.
Pro-abortion groups applauded the defeat as a victory for women. “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,” barked the National Abortion Rights Action League in a exultant press release. “When voters hear the real stories of real women and families facing these difficult decisions, they understand the danger and complexity of putting government between women and their doctors at these moments.”
Similarly, Planned Parenthood spokesperson Dawn Laguens called the deadly defeat for pre-born babies “a major victory for women’s health.”
By contrast, Tara Shaver of New Mexico's Project Defending Life said in a statement that her group was disappointed that the residents of Albuquerque “have decided to vote to perpetuate abortions through all nine months in our city.” She added, however, that “we know the campaign has been a huge success in the realm of education and awareness, and we know that our movement is energized on the ground.”
Shaver, who headed up the initiative, said her group decided to target local voters in Albuquerque after the state legislature refused to ban late-term abortion state-wide. She said they chose Albuquerque in part because it is home to a notorious clinic that performs late-term abortions on women who come from around the country for the murderous service. She said that her group may focus on other cities in New Mexico and beyond which have late-term abortion clinics. “We are encouraging people to see what can be done at the city level,” she said. “We are starting to get calls from people asking us how to do what we have done."
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