Beneath the workaday exterior of present-day Albuquerque, reproductive rights are under attack. Proponents of a late-term abortion ban—handily titled “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance”—are counting on Albuquerque residents to vote for the ordinance. ... and against both science and reason.
Before we get into the ordinance, let's create some context. Unless otherwise specified, all information cited here was sourced from the Guttmacher Institute's “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States.” This data can be accessed at bit.ly/
The lengthy, small-print ordinance text on your special election ballot fails to provide a summary of the proposed late-term abortion ban—which does not include exceptions for rape or incest—and it's riddled with scientific inaccuracy. Comprehensive analyses of peer-reviewed scientific research have concluded that a fetus does not possess the capacity to feel pain at 20 weeks gestation. To learn more, visit bit.ly/
Aside from the fact that public health policy must be informed by scientific—rather than ideological—evidence, the most troubling factor associated with implementing this ban is the fact that severe fetal abnormalities are often not detectable until at least 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Consider the truth about this ordinance's faulty underlying fetal pain premise before voting; the “facts” you’ll find presented on your ballot are not representative of scientific consensus within the medical community, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
By invoking worst-case scenarios, anti-choice activists hope to enact a backdoor abortion ban. Providing agency, access and choice to New Mexican women and families—including education and health care—could potentially reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions, whether late-term or otherwise. But no contraceptive method is 100 percent effective, and with actual use, unintended pregnancies happen.
You are being asked to institute a late-term abortion ban for women that prohibits any abortion after 20 weeks, unless it presents an immediate physical crisis. There are no exceptions for rape or incest. These late-term abortions make up 1.5 percent of all abortions. I could regale you with worst-case scenarios involving fetal deformity, rape, mental illness and the like. But, with inflammatory dialogue already dominating this issue, I simply urge you to carefully consider your position on this issue. Study the evidence and consult your conscience. Decide whether you believe government should have the right to make de facto medical decisions that exclude directives of both patient and doctor. Consider the truth about this ordinance's faulty underlying fetal pain premise before voting on a ballot; the “facts” you’ll find presented on your ballot are not representative of scientific consensus within the medical community, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Even Pope Francis seems to recognize that myopic cultural obsession with pelvic politics doesn’t serve the greater good. But access, agency and education do.