First abortion ban ad begins airing

Posted at: 10/29/2013 6:05 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The first television ad is on the airwaves in Albuquerque’s special abortion rights election. It’s a personal testimonial about the circumstances that led a woman to have a late-term abortion – after 20 weeks – the kind of abortion that will be illegal in the city if the ballot issue passes in the Nov.19 election.

There is no reason to doubt the woman’s story. Late in her pregnancy, things went wrong.

“I could carry the baby to term and watch her suffocate,” the woman says on camera. “Or I could end the pregnancy early and let her go peacefully.”

But the ad does not tell you that the woman, Christie Brooks, is from Virginia and did not have her abortion in New Mexico.  The ad sponsor, the “Respect ABQ Women” campaign, does disclose it in a news release, but not in the ad itself. Could the omission play a part in a tightly focused local election on such a volatile issue? We’ll see in the days ahead. Respect ABQ Women plans to air the ad all through the weeks leading up to the election.

Our accuracy check on the ad finds that the woman in the ad is not from here and did not have her abortion here.  But could women here potentially face the same circumstances here? Our finding is that yes, they could.  Supporters of the late term ban say the ad ignores what happens to the fetus, which is the focus of their campaign. Organizers on that side of the issue say they are actively raising contributions, but do not know whether they will be able to launch any TV ads of their own.