ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Abortion rights groups are claiming victory in a closely watched, first-of-its-kind proposal to ban late-term abortions in New Mexico’s largest city.

With all but about 12,000 of nearly 87,000 votes counted, the referendum to ban most abortions after 20 weeks was losing 55 percent to 45 percent.

A coalition of groups that includes the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and Planned Parenthood called the results a huge victory for Albuquerque women and families.

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said the voters of Albuquerque affirmed what her group already knew –that Americans believe the personal health care decisions of women belong in the hands of the individuals.

The municipal election was being watched as a possible new front in the abortion wars, which have traditionally been waged at the federal and state levels.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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