Abortion ban petition filed with city

Posted at: 07/18/2013 10:12 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Women who live in states with more restrictions on abortion already come to New Mexico, where there are no restrictions except on partial birth abortion.

One group is hoping to change the law in Albuquerque. They say that could cut down on women seeking abortions here.

If a petition circulating gets enough signatures and an initiative ends up on the ballot in October, voters will decide whether women will be banned from getting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the city of Albuquerque.

"These late term abortions are very risky for women," petition organizer Tara Shraver said. "So ultimately we see women and their children will be protected as a result of this initiative."

But opponents say the measure shouldn't be on a ballot at all.

"Human rights and women's human rights in particular have no place on the ballot," said Joan Sanford, executive director of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights. "We don't give human rights an up or down vote."

Texas Governor Rick Perry signed his state's new restrictions into law today.

"It is our responsibility and duty to give voice to the unborn and the individuals whose survival is at stake," Perry said while signing.

Shraver believes that could send more women from the Texas side of the border to the New Mexico side.

"Because we have no restrictions on abortion, we already don't have anything that's keeping women from coming to our state," Shraver said. "Every week we see women coming from all across the country specifically for late-term abortions."

Sanford counters.

"Restricting women's options at any point is harmful to women," Sanford said. "We support women and their ability to access healthcare throughout their pregnancy."

Supporters of the 20 week ban have turned in their first round of signatures, 11,000 in total. They need about 12,000 to get on the ballot by next Thursday but their goal is 15,000.

Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance