Voters in Albuquerque, New Mexico defeated a proposed ban on abortion after 20 weeks in a special election yesterday. The ban would have criminalized all abortions after 20 weeks, including those resulting from incest and rape or in cases when a women’s health is at risk. Had it passed, Albuquerque would have become the first city in America to adopt such abortion restrictions. The measure was defeated 55 percent to 45 percent, with only one-fourth of the city’s voters casting a ballot, according to the New York Times. All women in NM would have been affected by the ban, as the only two clinics that perform these rare second- and third-trimester abortions are located in the city.
The 20-week ban was largely symbolic, as close to 99 percent of abortions in the United States occur before 21 weeks and 80 percent occur during the first 12 weeks. Later abortions tend to be due to fetal abnormalities or severe health risks to the mother. The Albuquerque ban would have only only permitted abortions if a woman’s life was at risk.
In a statement, Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fun said:
“Voters tonight told politicians to stay out of women’s personal medical decisions. This election is a clear message and a warning to Congress and politicians nationwide: Health decisions should be left to a woman in consultation with her family and her doctor — not politicians.”
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[Image via Getty]