Abortion ban question may go to special election

Posted at: 08/27/2013 7:09 PM
Updated at: 08/29/2013 8:17 AM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Albuquerque voters could, and likely will, vote on an abortion ban by November.

The city clerk verified that anti-abortion protestors collected enough valid signatures–a little more than 12,000–on a petition that prevent women from having an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

In the last month, protestors from all over the country have criticized the city and the State of New Mexico for not having any bans on abortion.  Some protestors compared the city to Auschwitz, a concentration camp that existed during the Holocaust.

As big of an effort as it seems, organizer Elisa Martinez said it's grassroots.

"It's not this big out-of-state, well-oiled machine," she said.

Martinez said nearly 27,000 people signed the petition.

Amy Bailey, Albuquerque's city clerk, said city council members have two weeks to vote on the legislation as written, or they could turn it over to voters.

"If Council does anything other than approve it as written, it will go to a special election," Bailey said.

She said a special election could cost roughly $600,000.

If the mayoral election in October leads to a runoff in November, Bailey said the abortion issue could end up on the November ballot.

Critics of the proposed legislation said Tuesday what they've said from the beginning.

"Voters, nor government, have no place in these deeply complex and personal decisions about our bodies and lives," Micaela Cadena of Young Women United said.