This past Tuesday, a city in Ohio has declared itself to be a “sanctuary city for the unborn.” after they voted to ban abortion.
In a unanimous vote, the City Council of Lebanon, Ohio, approved the new city law even though one member of the council deserted their seat in protest before the meeting took place. Amy Brewer, the Republican Mayor of Lebanon, stated that the new law will take effect immediately within the city, which sits just north of Cincinnati with a residential population 20,000 strong.
“We are clearly saying in our community we do not think it is in our best interest to open a clinic or a hospital that does abortions,” Brewer stated. “We are elected to make decisions based on what’s good for our community today.”
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, before the vote, a group of people addressed the council itself. “Some prayed, some sang, some told deeply personal stories about rape or miscarriages. Outside city hall groups on both sides shouted at each other and urged drivers to honk for their side,” reported the news source.
“The residents of Lebanon deserve leaders who listen to the needs of community members rather than playing politics with people’s lives and health,” stated the state organizing director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, Stephanie Kollmann Baker, to the council.
“I think it’s an important thing for people to be aware that there are ways to protect the unborn and women still have their right to choose,” stated Renee Wisser, a city resident. “This is a good thing for Lebanon, Ohio.”
A resident of the city of Lebanon for roughly four years, Veronica Strevel stated that the law would be a vast abuse of power of the city council. “It worries me because every Lebanon citizen needs a chance to speak and that shouldn’t get convoluted by outside influences. I want people to know that this is not OK. It’s not OK for our rogue city council to take it upon themselves to create an ordinance without consulting its citizens,” she stated, according to the news outlet.
As an act of protest before the meeting, Krista Wyatt, a former council member, tendered her resignation. “I am heartbroken to not fulfill my term and I know many people will be disappointed with this. But as a respectable, decent human being, I can no longer allow my name to be associated with the Lebanon City Council,” she wrote in a letter sent to a media partner of the Enquirer, Fox19.
The newly passed law “makes it illegal to provide an abortion, aid an abortion, provide money or transportation for an abortion, and provide instructions for an abortion within the city limits of Lebanon,” stated the Enquirer. “It exempts the pregnant woman who seeks an abortion from prosecution. Violation of the law would be punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.”
“Exemptions in the ordinance include ectopic pregnancy, a miscarriage, or preserving the health of the unborn child. There is no mention of exemptions in cases of rape or incest in the ordinance,” concluded the paper.