Wasserman Schultz denounces New Mexico late-term abortion vote

Greg Nash

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) waded into state politics Tuesday, denouncing a vote in Albuquerque, N.M. that would ban late-term abortions.

The congresswoman, who also serves as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, is an outspoken supporter of abortion rights.

Voters in New Mexico’s largest city will vote on an initiative Tuesday that would limit Albuquerque’s doctors from performing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The ban won’t apply if an abortion is needed to save a mother’s life.

The measure is considered the first to appear on a municipal ballot in the United States, Reuters says.

Nine states have enacted legislation banning abortions at 20 weeks, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Courts have already put holds on North Dakota’s ban at six weeks of pregnancy, and Arkansas’s at 12 weeks. They’ve also blocked 20-week abortion bans in Idaho, Georgia and Arizona.

Abortions after 20 weeks are rare, and only 23 percent of U.S. abortion providers perform them, the Guttmacher Institute says. Less than two percent of women, the group says, undergo abortions after 21 weeks.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who is anti-abortion, has not gotten involved in the Albuquerque effort, according to Think Progress.