FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2013
Contact: Tara Sweeney, 917-488-0094, tsweeney@nirhealth.org

National Institute for Reproductive Health Hails Another Local Victory for Reproductive Health and Rights as Albuquerque Voters Reject
City-level 20-week Abortion Ban

Yesterday voters in Albuquerque, NM rejected a ballot initiative that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks in the city of Albuquerque. The anti-choice ordinance targeted Southwestern Women’s Options, a women’s health clinic that is one of the only remaining in the nation providing such care for women needing abortion care later in pregnancy.

“Over the last few months, anti-choice crusaders swept into Albuquerque in an attempt to drum up opposition to the provision of safe, legal later abortion care in that city,” said Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health/NARAL Pro-Choice New York. “But yesterday Albuquerque residents responded with a resounding ‘not in our city!’ In doing so, they joined dozens of cities across the nation where community members and policymakers alike have proven their willingness to go to bat to protect reproductive rights and expand access to reproductive health care.”

Indeed, many of the reproductive rights movement’s greatest advances – adoption of comprehensive sexuality curricula, buffer zones protecting access to women’s health clinics, improved availability of emergency contraception – have originated in cities. In contrast, Congress continues to restrict reproductive rights, including through a proposed federal 20-week ban, and state legislatures across the country have sought to eliminate access to abortion in states such as Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas.

Since 2008, the National Institute for Reproductive Health has catalyzed local proactive change through partnerships with local advocates. In 2013 alone, the National Institute helped to pass resolutions supporting insurance coverage for comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion, in Cambridge (MA), New York City, Philadelphia, and Travis County (TX) with more cities soon to follow suit. Previously, the National Institute worked with advocates in Austin (TX), Baltimore and Montgomery County (MD), Chapel Hill (NC), New York City, and Dane County (WI) to pass ordinances to counter deceptive and misleading crisis pregnancy centers. And in Detroit, Milwaukee, Helena (MT), and New York City, the National Institute worked with local groups to improve provision of comprehensive sexuality education and access to vital reproductive health information.

In Albuquerque, the National Institute was proud to partner with local advocates Young Women United and the Southwest Women’s Law Center in support of their work with the Respect ABQ Women coalition.

Miller concluded, “The anti-choice movement, witnessing gains on the city level, has tried to seize that local momentum. Albuquerque was their latest front in that war. Thankfully, they lost, and Albuquerque women won.”

The National Institute for Reproductive Health (www.nirhealth.org) and NARAL Pro-Choice New York (www.prochoiceny.org) are related organizations working at the state and local level in New York and across the country to promote reproductive rights and expand access to reproductive health care through bold advocacy, creative education campaigns, and high-impact partnerships.

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