Ohio Votes To Make Abortion Punishable With 6 Months In Jail And $1,000 Fine

A town in Ohio has voted to approve a measure to make providing an abortion punishable with up to six months in prison or a $1,000 fine. The town of Lebanon passed the local ordinance unanimously during a city council meeting on Tuesday, May 25 after four hours of public debate from members in the community, CNN reports.

  1. Lebanon is the first Ohio town to declare itself a “sanctuary for the unborn.” However, it’s only one of many conservative towns and cities to pass anti-abortion measures like this in 2021 alone. The roughly 20,000 people who live in the city have zero access to abortion within Lebanon and have to travel elsewhere if they wish to terminate a pregnancy. The “Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn” movement started in Texas, because of course it did. In support of this measure, 23 small towns voted to make abortion punishable by a $2,000 fine.
  2. Ohio is taking things one step further. In addition to imposing a fine on abortion, Lebanon is upping the ante by introducing a prison sentence as well. This threat would apply not only to doctors who perform abortions but to anyone who gives access to, information about, or transportation to abortion services. Way to go back to the dark ages!
  3. There is one exception. If the mother is going to die as a result of her pregnancy, she may be granted access to a safe abortion. However, if you were raped or the victim of incest, sorry – you’ve got to carry that child to full-term.
  4. There will of course be challenges to this ban. Women’s rights activists in Ohio have unsurprisingly revealed that they plan to legally challenge the ban as it goes against federal and state abortion laws. Ohio currently allows abortions up to 20 weeks.
  5. A similar restrictive measure in 2019 was blocked. In 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine introduced a bill that banned abortion after six weeks, but that was blocked in court a few days prior to coming into effect. It’s likely this measure in Lebanon will meet a similar fate.
  6. Planned Parenthood is fighting back. “Abortion services are already extremely difficult to access for people in Ohio, but these efforts are part of an aggressive, nationwide anti-abortion agenda to do one thing – ban abortion outright,” said Kersha Deibel, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio. “We will do everything we can to continue to provide safe, legal abortion to the people of Ohio who need it.”

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