Ohio Town Votes to Make Abortion Punishable by Six Months in Prison and $1,000 Fine

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The town of Lebanon, Ohio, passed a new local ordinance banning abortion unanimously at a city council meeting on Tuesday, May 25, following only four hours of public debate. Declaring themselves as the ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’, the town has a population of roughly 20,000, and there are currently no abortion clinics.

People were outraged by the news…

The small town of Lebanon, Ohio is the most recent town to make its name in the US war with abortion laws.

They declared themselves the ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’, which is an extreme anti-abortion movement originating in Texas, where 23 small towns passed legislation making abortion punishable by a $1,000 fine, as reported by The Guardian.

Abortion is currently legal at up to 20 weeks in the state of Ohio…

In 2019 Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill which would have banned abortion after six weeks. This was blocked in court just days before it was to come into force, however it has gone through and is implemented in Texas.

People were outraged at the ongoing battle the American government has with Abortion Laws.

Abortion has long been known as a somewhat “taboo” topic, with women historically being forced to risk their lives in order to terminate their unwanted pregnancies.

A 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, affirmed that a woman’s access to safe and legal abortion is a constitutional human right.

Here in the U.S. the right to safe and legal abortion has been the law of the land for more than forty-five years and is a part of the fabric of this country. Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court dealt a huge blow to our right to access safe, legal abortion, however. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Trump, who had previously made a clear promise to nominate judges who would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade.

On May 14 2019, Alabama legislators passed a bill banning abortions. The passing of this bill has triggered an outcry across the world, with millions standing forward in support of women’s rights. Republican, Governor Kay Ivey, said after signing the bill: “The bill stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.”

Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have signed bills in recent months that ban abortions if an embryonic heartbeat can be detected.
These are often referred to as “heartbeat bills,” meaning abortion is banned after 6 weeks of pregnancy, when the fetus has fully developed a heartbeat.

And there are still so many people who don’t think women deserve the right to a safe abortion.

While it’s now legal in many countries across the world like Tunisia, Denmark, France, Sweden and New Zealand, there’s no doubt that abortion remains a taboo topic, with the right to a safe and legal abortion facing numerous challenges.

Both pro-life and pro-choice activists feel very strongly about their views. Although there’s no doubt that pro-lifers can go to extremes to air their views.

These people, or anti-abortionists, as they are commonly referred to as, claim that they believe in “pro-life” and that terminating a pregnancy is up in the same ranks as “murder.” And with phrases like “murderer” and “baby killer” often thrown about, it’s no wonder so many women feel frightened and ashamed when it comes to abortion.

But what people don’t understand is that the opposite of pro-life isn’t abortion…

It’s believing that the you have the right to choose what happens to your body.

And now, the Governor of Texas has signed legislation to ban abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy…

And people are outraged by the new law…

The legislation, S.B.8, means woman more than 6 weeks pregnant will be prohibited from having an abortion.

It is considered by many to be an almost total ban on abortions in Texas as many women do not know they are pregnant until after 6 weeks.

Laws like this often generate the name “heartbeat ban”…

This is because the 6 week mark is earliest point that the heartbeat can first be detected.

The legislation will only allow for exceptions if “a physician believes a medical emergency exists,” People reports.

But for those who are carrying a baby as a result of sexual assault or incest, abortion will not be permitted.

However a town in Ohio has now made headlines for declaring themselves the ‘sanctuary city for the unborn’.

Lebanon, Ohio has a population of roughly 20,000, and there are currently no abortion clinics in the town. They have now signed a bill which bans abortion and makes it punishable with six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Much like the Texas bill, they are prosecuting those who undergo the procedure.

Lebanon’s new laws take things a step further however, by introducing the threat of jail time for doctors who perform the procedure, as well as anyone who provides access or transportation to, or information about, abortion services.

The law also means you can sue anyone you believe has had an abortion or assisted at all with one.

The defendant would have to produce evidence they haven’t had an abortion or assisted (like what, we have no idea).

The Supreme Court announced they are looking at a case in Mississippi which could overturn the constitutional right to abortion established by Roe in 1973.

There has been over 500 new legislatures passed over the last four months in the US in relation to abortion laws, which is a rapid growth in contrast to the last decade. The creation of ‘sanctuary cities’ is an extreme example of anti-abortion action, it is one of many states across the country to introduce harsher restrictions on abortion access.

President Joe Biden however has reasonably liberal views on abortion in contrast with the former President Donald Trump.

Trump has expressed support for banning abortion overall, except for cases of r*pe, incest or danger to the mother’s life. Whereas Biden in contrast, wants to pass a federal law that protects a woman’s right to have an abortion – that’s something that more liberal states like New York have moved towards.

Despite Biden being only the second Catholic President, his ideals go against the church.

When asked about how he planned to protect reproductive rights if Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed Biden responded “the only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation making Roe the law of the land. That’s what I would do.”

Nevertheless, he is yet to speak on the matter in office…

Despite the urgency felt by much of his party, President Biden has said little about abortion publicly while in office. In fact, he hasn’t said the word itself at all.
The New York Times said: “Mr. Biden’s cautiousness on an issue central to his political base comes as he confronts the realities of leading a Democratic Party that shifted sharply to the left during the Trump administration. While Mr. Biden has moved left himself on many issues including abortion, liberals are finding their ambitions curtailed on immigration, criminal justice, gun control and other priorities by their razor-thin control of the Senate and a president whom they are pushing to take a more aggressive approach.”
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