ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Abortion rights groups say Albuquerque's decisive defeat of a ban on late-term abortions should send a strong message to policymakers around the country to stop meddling in personal medical decisions.

But those who succeeded in putting the proposal to a historic vote vowed their fight is not over.

Activists on both sides say it was the first municipal election on the issue. And despite the defeat, it likely won't be the last.

The Rev. Frank Pavone, head of the national Catholic anti-abortion group Priests for Life, called it a brilliant strategy that he will push to replicate in other cities.

Albuquerque pollster Brian Sanderoff credited the win to smart campaigning and fundraising by opponents, as well as an emerging base of progressive voters in New Mexico's largest city.