Ohio City votes to ban abortion; Legal challenge possibility

A southwestern Ohio city has become the first city in the state to declare abortion illegal and has declared itself “a sanctuary city for unborn people.”

Lebanon, Ohio – A southwest Ohio city on Tuesday became the first state to declare abortion illegal and declare itself “a sanctuary city for unborn people”, setting itself up for a potential legal challenge by opponents Which calls the ban unconstitutional.

The vote of the Lebanese city council was unanimous – after one member left in protest. The Cincinnati Inquirer reported that that member, Christa Wyatt, said she could no longer associate her name with the body “as a respected, cultured human being.”

No abortion clinics are located in Lebanon and none are planned. Mayor Amy Brewer said the ordinance sends a signal that the community would not welcome such a facility. Abortion remains legal in Ohio and the rest of the country after a 1973 Supreme Court ruling that women have the constitutional right to have an abortion.

Council member Doug Shope said he worked with sanctuary cities for the unborn to end the Ohio ban. The Texas-based group has helped more than two dozen municipalities in Texas, Nebraska and now Ohio write custom ordinances to ban the ban.

The newspaper reported that the scheduled turnout saw dozens of witnesses, testimonials, prayers and protests.

Planned Paternity called the ban “scandalous,” while Ohio Right to Life praised it and said it hoped it would catch on in more Ohio cities and villages. The ACLU of Ohio said it is ready to sue.


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