Jill Stanek

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ABQ 20-week abortion ban proponents: We’ll be back

Jill Stanek
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I was frankly shocked to see Albuquerque’s 20-week abortion ban initiative go down. In early September the ban got overwhelming public support, according to an Albuquerque Journal poll, shown to the right.

But the initiative did go down, losing by 9,144 votes: 55%-45%, 48,042 to 38,898.

Early voting is where our side lost. There were 50,000 early and absentee ballots cast, and they went 56% against and 44% for.

Objectively speaking, how barbaric is a society that votes in favor of murdering preborn babies five months old and up, particularly who are known to feel the pain of it all? How barbaric are people to jump, clap, and shout for joy when that happens (photo above)?

Pretty barbaric.

Yet I don’t believe the vote in ABQ accurately represents societal thought. I think what it reflects is a well-oiled political machine, which included Obama’s Organizing for Action, which knows how and where to get out the vote. When I saw NARAL president Ilyse Hogue retweet this – before the final vote was known – I knew one area in which the other side focused was registering their people to vote…

I think the vote also reflects the ability of money to talk. As SBA List’s Billy Valentine noted, the other side outspent us 4:1

This is true. While the abortion industry called yesterday’s defeat of the ban “a great victory,” as an email from NARAL put it, in actuality all they really did was manage to fend off a bold offensive attack against one of their fortresses – where “Democrats [have] a sizable registration advantage,” and where Obama won by 15 points in 2012. That’s not anything great.

Operation Rescue Senior Policy Advisor Cheryl Sullenger also noted there was “widespread” voter confusion because the measure itself was “lengthy and technical,” adding, “this is an issue that can be easily corrected next time around,” meaning yes, a next time is planned.

I will say the failure of the 20-week ban exposes the impotence of our churches. We are all aware of pastors who are weak-kneed on the topic of abortion, but banning abortions at 20 weeks is something even the biggest cowards should have had no trouble getting behind. Churches were places of low-hanging fruit, where grand registration drives could have and should have been orchestrated, along with massive GOTV campaigns. There were certainly 9,000 more votes in the pews had congregants been more strongly urged, and had they received proper teaching on the sanctity of human to begin with.

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But back to the positives. As Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins noted on MSNBC yesterday, “The fact that we’re on national t.v. debating about having abortions on children who can feel pain… we’re discussing the humanity of preborn children.”

Created Equal further noted in an email alert:

Although the ban did not pass, public education efforts leading up to the vote not only raised widespread discussion but also created opportunities for the victims to be seen. While late-term abortion may remain legal for now in ABQ, it has already become unthinkable to countless citizens who themselves witnessed faces of butchered children on our mobile billboards, handheld signs, or postcards.

As for the future of anti-abortion initiatives on the local level, pro-lifers have apparently stumbled on to something. Quoting NextCity.org:

[Floyd]Feeney [professor of election law at the University of California-Davis] said, “going at it at the local level would be good strategy. It’s cheaper. It’s expensive and complicated to get something on statewide ballot even in smaller states. Why spend half a million dollars when you can do it for less than that?”

… while forcing the other side to spend a million.

Kudos to Tara and Bud Shaver for launching a promising new pro-life strategy.

[Top photo via ABQJournal.com]

Reprinted with permission from Jill Stanek

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