ACLU of New Mexico Denounces Proposed Albuquerque Abortion Ban

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico denounced the proposed Albuquerque ballot measure that seeks to prevent women from accessing a safe and legal abortion beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy.

 “The extremely personal decision whether to have a safe, legal abortion belongs between a woman and her doctor,” said ACLU-NM Staff Attorney Alexandra Freedman Smith. “This organized effort is all about ignoring the personal circumstances of women and putting the government in the exam room where it doesn’t belong.”

The ballot measure, if certified, would place an item on the 2013 city election ballot that would ban abortions in Albuquerque performed after 20 weeks. The law would provide no exceptions in the case of rape, incest, or severe fetal anomaly. The organizers of the ballot measure work closely with Operation Rescue, an out-of-state organization with a history of harassing women and health care providers.

“We agree with the Albuquerque city attorney that this proposal is an unconstitutional violation of women’s privacy,” said Smith. “The decision to end a pregnancy is an extremely complex one for women and their families. The government should not be involved.”

If the ballot measure were to pass, the ACLU of New Mexico would file a legal challenge to have it stricken from the law. The initiative is in clear violation of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, and would likely be struck down by the courts.

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