Albuquerque, NM – All pro-life supporters are urged to take urgent action to block an effort to cancel a scheduled November 19 vote on the Albuquerque Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Albuquerque city councilor Trudy Jones seeks to introduce Resolution R-15-250, which would seek to hire an independent counsel to obtain an injunction against the vote and seek a declaratory ruling from a judge as to the Constitutionality of the proposed ordinance, which is nearly identical to laws already in force in 11 states. Similar legislation has also been introduced at the Federal level, successfully clearing a House on June 18, 2013.
“This is nothing more than a blatant attack on the legal process and is meant to thwart the will of the people,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue, which supports the ordinance. “Nearly 27,000 Albuquerque residents, whose signatures were gathered in just 20 days, have followed the legal process for a Direct Legislation Initiative as outlined in the City Charter. We are shocked that they would now try to take away the right of the people to a fair election that is now required by law.”
Council President Dan Lewis released a statement yesterday indicating that he has declined to place the resolution on the agenda. Nevertheless, Jones is still expected to introduce the resolution.
Lewis stated in part:
R-13-250 short circuits the democratic process. Whether you agree with them or not, the organizers of this initiative have played by the rules and have followed all of the City’s laws and requirements, and under those laws they are entitled to an election. Actions by the Council that would deny this election, that would disenfranchise voters, and that would limit voter initiative rights under the City Charter deserve more time and consideration by the Council, not less.
Opponents of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance have speculated at great length about the constitutionality of the Ordinance. Unfortunately, that is just what those thoughts are – speculation…
In the City of Albuquerque, we follow a democratic process. Our citizens have done the work to place the ordinance on the ballot. The City Council has already acted and set the special election date for November 19th. Now it is time to leave the question in the hands of Albuquerque’s voters. Regardless of where nine city councilors stand on the issue, we must follow our own city laws and allow this question to go before the voters of the City of Albuquerque who have earned that right.
Sullenger indicated that if Jones seeks to avoid a costly lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of the ordinance, blocking a vote legally obtained through the direct legislative initiative process will only draw a lawsuit from pro-life groups.
“Our attorneys are drafting a letter to the Council at this time seeking to warn them of political and potential legal consequences to subverting the legal process by halting a scheduled vote on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance,” noted Sullenger. “Defending against our suit could prove more costly to the city.”
Operation Rescue, Project Defending Life, and the newly formed Late Term Abortion Ban PAC are urging everyone who can to get to the city council meeting Wednesday, October 9, to show opposition to this eleventh hour ploy to deny the citizens of Albuquerque a fair vote on an ordinance that polls show enjoys overwhelmingly support. Please arrive no later than 5:00 p.m. and register to speak out in opposition to R-15-230. The meeting will be held at:
Vincent E. Griego Chambers
One Civic Plaza
Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Center (map)
Operation Rescue also urges those who are not residents of Albuquerque to contact each member of the city council to voice opposition to Resolution R-15-230. This ordinance affects families in every state since women from all over the U.S. travel to Albuquerque for late-term abortions that are not legal in their home states. If you can only contact one council member, please contact Trudy Jones.
Councilor Dan Lewis: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: (505) 768-3189
Councilor Ken Sanchez: email@example.com
Telephone: (505) 768-3183
Councilor Roxanna Meyers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: (505) 768-3159
Councilor Isaac Benton: email@example.com
Telephone: (505) 768-3186
Councilor Brad Winter: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: (505) 768-3101
Councilor Rey Garduño: email@example.com
Telephone: (505) 768-3136
Councilor Janice Arnold-Jones: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: (505) 768-3136
Councilor Trudy Jones: email@example.com
Telephone: (505) 768-3106
Councilor Don Harris: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: (505) 768-3123