The Albuquerque City Council has scheduled a vote on a proposed 20-week abortion ban in the city for November 19, after councilors “questioned whether the ordinance is constitutional and struggled with whether they were required to schedule a vote on the measure,” the Albuquerque Journal reports.
Because reproductive rights opponents secured the 12,091 petition signatures required to trigger an election, the city council has no choice but to put the proposed ordinance to a vote in a November 19 run-off election, which may or may not be necessary following an October 8 ballot for city mayor and six city council members, or conduct the vote by mail if there is no run-off.
Though the petition’s proponents have called their proposal the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance,” there is no scientific evidence that suggests fetuses feel pain before about 27 weeks of development.
Anti-choice activists with Operation Rescue began targeting the state as the next frontier in curbing abortion rights in 2010, when the organization sent two “missionaries” to Albuquerque to garner support for an abortion ban there, hoping to shut down the Southwestern Women’s Options clinic, one of the only clinics in the country that provides later abortions. Protestors have also picketed the city’s Holocaust museum, demanding it install an “American genocide” exhibit about abortion.
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