(CBS NEWS) Voters in New Mexico’s largest city soundly defeated a ban on late-term abortions in a municipal election that was being closely watched as a possible new front in the national abortion fight.

Voters rejected the measure 55 percent to 45 percent on Tuesday following an emotional and graphic campaign that brought in national groups and hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising. The campaign included protests that compared abortion to the Holocaust and displayed pictures of aborted fetuses.

Activists on both sides of the issue said it was the first municipal ballot measure on the matter, which usually is debated at the state and federal level. Abortion opponents hoped a victory in Albuquerque would create momentum nationally in their long-running fight to ban abortion.

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