On May 25, the city council of Lebanon, Ohio, voted to ban abortion within the city limits. Not only that, but the bill also criminalizes the provision of funds or transportation for any Lebanon resident seeking an abortion outside the city limits. This comes riding an anti-abortion wave along with reactionary efforts to ban abortion at the state-level in Ohio.
A protest took place outside the Lebanon City Hall on the day of the bill’s passing, with more than 125 supporters rallying and chanting outside for hours. Grassroots mobilization will be key in the fightback against this law and other anti-abortion laws, as it has been key since the beginning of this struggle.
“The ordinance in Lebanon is just another example of the extreme and unconstitutional lengths anti-abortion activists will go to prevent patients from seeking the care they need and deserve,” Kersha Deibel, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio told Liberation News. “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. It’s reprehensible. We will do everything we can to continue providing safe, legal abortion to the people in Ohio who need it — no matter what.”
Anyone seeking an abortion should have easy and free access to one. The added criminalization of assisting a Lebanon resident to seek an abortion outside the city limits is an especially egregious attack on reproductive rights.
The law passed in Lebanon has no exceptions for rape or incest. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio has decried the law as unconstitutional, and plans to sue the city. Lebanon is the 28th city in the United States to pass a city-wide ban on abortion, and the first to do so in Ohio.
Information on finding access to an abortion in Ohio can be found here.
Feature photo: Protesters rally against a strict anti-abortion law in Lebanon, Ohio. Photo Credit: Planned Parent Advocates of Ohio