By Dave Andrusko
The city clerk’s office has informed KRQE-TV that there’s been a record number for early voting on a proposed ordinance. What has caused over 23,000 people to vote as of this morning?
The city of Albuquerque’s “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance,” which would ban abortions after 20 weeks, the juncture by which science shows the unborn child can experience pain.
Early voting ends November 15th and Election Day is November 19th. (There is also a run-off election in one city council district that will give the city a new councilor.)
There are four known late abortion centers in the United States—two of them are located in the city of Albuquerque.
A poll taken in September by the Albuquerque Journal newspaper showed 54% of city voters supported the measure, while only 39% in opposition.
Elisa Martinez, a spokeswoman for the campaign to approve the ordinance, told the Albuquerque Journal that supporters are confident. “It’s absolutely historic,” Martinez told the newspaper. “People are energized on our side.”
President Obama’s “Organizing for Action” is attempting to defeat the measure with the typical measure pro-abortion rant: This is a serious attack on women – and it’s a deliberate attempt by extreme interest groups to test their latest anti-women strategy.”
“The citizens of Albuquerque support this measure, and they understand that these late-term abortions are” dangerous, Martinez said. “We’re looking at healthy babies that are often being aborted in a painful and horrific nature.”
Pro-lifers secured 12,091 signatures 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. No one spoke in favor of the former option when the council considered the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance in September.
With that kind of public support, opponents did everything they could to keep the measure from coming to a vote.
On October 9, as the Council considered the measure, City councilor Trudy Jones “introduced a resolution asking the city to get outside legal opinions before there’s a vote,” according to KASA.com’s Amanda Goodman. It just so happened that Jones had already solicited a formal ruling from Attorney General Gary King.
In a letter to Jones, King says only state officials can seek a formal opinion, but he issued the letter because “voters have the right to know and decide whether they want to bear the protracted expense of litigation over a measure that is unconstitutional and unenforceable.”
King wrote that “federal and New Mexico constitutional limitations make a ban on any otherwise legal abortion unenforceable,” adding “recent federal court actions have struck down ordinances identical or similar to the proposed measure in Albuquerque.”
According to media accounts, the chambers were packed and “most of those who spoke were in favor of allowing the ban to go to the voters saying the city should not interfere in the democratic process.”
Goodman wrote, “The resolution was sent to a committee. The committee chair deferred it until after the Nov. 19 election which essentially killed the resolution.”