ALBUQUERQUE, NM, November 14, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The nation’s first city-based ballot measure to ban elective abortions at 20 weeks and after has become a flashpoint for the nation’s largest pro-life and pro-abortion groups. The ballot measure would effectively put two of the nation’s four late-term abortion clinics out of business.
Planned Parenthood, the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA), Students for Life of America (SFLA), and other organizations have purchased TV ads, engaged in grassroots mobilization, and urged citizens to go out and vote.
Two of the ballot’s most powerful opponents, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, have each spent several hundred thousand dollars to defeat it.
According to a legislative advocate for Planned Parenthood New Mexico, the ballot measure’s impact will be felt “statewide” if it becomes law.
The effort is not just local; Planned Parenthood of New York is planning a phone-bank effort from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. this evening to contact Albuquerque voters.
On the other side of the issue, SFLA President Kristan Hawkins wrote that activists from four states will be traveling to Albuquerque, engaging in grassroots activism in the final days before the ballot measure.
Live Action has released an undercover video recording a counselor from the Southwestern Women's Options abortion facility in Albuquerque describing the process of stabbing an unborn baby in the skull with a needle during the abortion.
SBA has put $100,000 into three television ads, as well as radio ads, a newspaper ad, and various forms of literature. In one SBA ad, a woman talks about how “even though I am pro-choice….protecting [babies in the womb] from the pain of abortion” makes “human sense.”
A poll released by the Albuquerque Journal in September found a majority of city residents who had voted in 2009 or 2011 city elections, and plan to vote on November 19, support the ban. Fifty-four percent of responders support said they were planning on voting for it, and 39 percent opposed it.
A majority of both parties supported the ban, as did majorities of both white and Hispanic likely voters.
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President Obama’s grassroots organizing group, Organizing for Action, has partnered with a local group “Respect ABQ Women” to oppose the measure. The Journal reports Respect ABQ Women has spent over $100,000 on two TV ads, and raised nearly $600,000 “from local and national sources.”
In a public statement, SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the ballot measure would help “protect the more than 15,000 lives ended each year in a late abortion.” SFLA Director of Field Operations Brendan O'Morchoe told LifeSiteNews.com that pro-life activists “have a great chance to ban late-term abortion in Albuquerque next week. If you can get to Albuquerque, the pro-life movement has come together to knock on doors and call voters. Pro-life voters everywhere can be should be praying for pro-life activists in Albuquerque and that this ordinance will pass and lives will be saved.”
LifeSiteNews.com reached out to the ACLU and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow – who has also opposed the measure – for comment about their opposition. As of press time, no response had been received.
Early voting ends tomorrow, and Election Day is on November 19.