NM attorney general: Late-term abortion ban is 'unenforceable'

Posted at: 10/09/2013 9:48 AM
Updated at: 10/09/2013 9:57 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

Photo: KOB File Photo

After an Albuquerque city councilor raised concerns about the constitutionality of a proposed late-term abortion ban, New Mexico's attorney general has issued a response.

In a letter to Councilor Trudy Jones, Attorney General Gary King said federal courts have struck down similar ordinances in the past on Constitutional grounds.

"It is important that voters know that federal and New Mexico constitutional limitations make a ban on any otherwise legal abortion unenforceable," Attorney General Gary King said. "Additionally, recent federal court actions have struck down ordinances identical or similar to the proposed measure in Albuquerque."

Councilor Jones requested a formal opinion from King, but only state officials are authorized to make such requests. King's response was issued in an informal letter, citing Roe v. Wade and a decision by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down a ban on abortions at 20 weeks in Utah.

A special election on the proposed late-term abortion ban is set for Nov. 19 in Albuquerque. If approved, the measure would ban abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy in the city.

"That referendum goes to a vote of the people, and there's nothing that can thwart that," a representative for the group behind the ban told KOB Eyewitness News 4 on Monday.