Albuquerque voters reject Pain-Capable Unborn Child Ordinance

By Dave Andrusko

abq-abortion-capitalVoters in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, have rejected a proposed city ordinance that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks, the point by which scientific evidence demonstrates the unborn child can feel pain.

The final margin was 55% against the proposed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Ordinance to 45% in favor. One index of how much attention was paid to the ordinance is that just under one quarter of registered voters cast ballots, a record-breaking turnout for a special election.

Opponents won by a 9,000 vote margin. They benefited from an approximately 7,600 advantage among those who voted early.

The ordinance was on the ballot because 12,091 signatures were secured in the state’s largest city. Once that threshold was reached, the City Council could only either approve the law outright or put it to voters. The Council chose the latter.

With an assist from Organizing for Action, the fundraising machine spun out of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, a coalition including Planned Parenthood and the ACLU banded together under the banner of “Respect ABQ Women” to defeat the ordinance. POLITICO reported that the coalition raised $680,000 to defeat the measure.

The pro-abortion advertising campaign, of course, completely ignored what the ordinance was about: the pain the unborn child experiences by no later than 20 weeks.

There are ten states that have approved a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, as has the United States House of Representatives. Pro-Life Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has introduced a companion Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the Senate.

Even in a city as “progressive” as Albuquerque, it is difficult to believe that if they knew what was taking place at Southwestern Women’s Options clinic, voters would have rejected the ordinance.

NRL News Today has posted several stories, based on investigative videos provided by Live Action. Had Albuquerque voters seen the videos or read our stories they would have learned

* The deeply unsettling truth surrounding what happens in second and third trimester abortions. The Live Action investigator asks the counselor, “does it [the baby] feel that?”—a reference to the needle injected into the baby to kill him or her. After hemming and hawing, the counselor says “You know, I’m not sure…I don’t believe so. I don’t know if it’s developed enough to feel that.” A second later, “It might be.”

* The receptionist at Southwestern Women’s Options told the Live Action investigator that an abortion at 25 weeks costs $8,000—with the price going up $1,000 each subsequent week.

* Southwestern Women’s Options has worked out a deal with a local inn to give women a “deal” on a room and transportation to and from the airport, to and from the abortion clinic.

* If a woman goes into labor in the hotel room, don’t look for a ride to the abortion clinic. As the woman answering the phone at the hotel told an uncover Live Action investigator, “Most of these cases, you guys actually transport yourself, either [by] taxi or you’ll call an ambulance. I don’t think you even go to the clinic. I think you wind up going to the hospital.”

Just some of the extensive evidence that unborn children have the capacity to experience pain, at least by 20 weeks fetal age, is available on the National Right to Life website at www.nrlc.org/abortion/fetalpain and also at www.doctorsonfetalpain.com.

Regardless of what took place in Albuquerque Tuesday, public opinion is squarely in favor of legislation like this as illustrated by a July Washington Post/ABC News poll that nevertheless under-reported the extent of the support.

The lead in the Post story accompanying the poll read, “By a margin of 56 to 27 percent, more Americans say they’d prefer to impose limits on abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy rather than the 24-week mark established under current law, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.” [Never mind that abortion is legal past the first 24 weeks.]

And if you include those who say abortion should never be legal (8% in this poll) and those who would want the ban earlier (“fewer weeks”–2%), a total of 66% support the ban (56% + 8% + 2%).

As he was introducing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Sen. Graham told National Review Online, “The goal is to have a vote in 2014, to make sure we vote on it. He added, “It’s worth having this debate. The more people understand what we’re trying to do, the more public support will grow over time.”

Susan T. Muskett, J.D., National Right to Life senior legislative counsel, said, “Lives hang in the balance. Congress cannot sit idly by to condone these violent acts; it’s time to take a stand for the protection of these pain-capable unborn children.” She added, “Not since Congress voted to ban the brutal partial-birth abortion method has a more important piece of pro-life legislation come before Congress.”