Voters in Albuquerque easily defeated a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, dealing a major blow Tuesday to pro-life advocates who had hoped that a win using the city’s referendum process would be a model that other municipalities could follow.
The groundbreaking vote marked the first time a city had been asked to approve an abortion ban, and national groups on both sides of the issue were closely watching to see how it would turn out.
Pro-choice advocates, including President Obama’s own campaign team, rallied to stop the referendum, arguing that if they didn’t nip the city-by-city strategy now, it could spread to other cities and become a new front in the abortion fight.
Advocates of the ban admitted defeat late Tuesday, but said they don’t feel discouraged.
“It is a brilliant strategy and we will see to it that this effort is introduced in other cities and states,” said Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. “The fact is, of course, that children have in fact been saved through this effort, simply because we have raised the issue of fetal pain, which does not even cross the minds of many abortionists.”
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