LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio city became the first in the state Tuesday to enact a measure outlawing abortion and declaring itself “a sanctuary city for the unborn,” setting itself up for a likely legal challenge by opponents who call the ban unconstitutional.
The vote by Lebanon City Council was unanimous — after one member quit in protest. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that that member, Krista Wyatt, said she could no longer associate her name with the body “as a respectable, decent 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 following a 1973 Supreme Court decision that women have a constitutional right to seek an abortion.
Council member Doug Shope said he worked with Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn in crafting 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 abortions.