LEBANON, Ohio – The ACLU of Ohio this week placed a billboard advertisement in the city of Lebanon, Ohio, stating “Abortion is Legal in ALL of Ohio.”
“This message follows a May 25 decision from Lebanon City Council to declare the city a ‘sanctuary for the unborn’ posturing to ban abortion within the city limits,” according to a press release from the ACLU.
The ordinance “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. A similar ordinance is currently being considered in the Village of South Lebanon,” the release stated.
The Associated Press reported in May that “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 or South Lebanon and none are planned. The AP reported in May that, “Mayor Amy Brewer said the ordinance sends a signal that the community would not welcome such a facility.”
Planned Parenthood called the ban “reprehensible,” while Ohio Right to Life praised it and said they hope it catches on in more Ohio cities and villages. The ACLU of Ohio said it is prepared to sue, according to the AP report.
“We hope this billboard will serve as a reminder to residents of Lebanon and South Lebanon, and people across the state, that abortion remains legal – despite what special interest groups and some local officials would want you to believe. Ohio clinics remain open and services are available to individuals in need of abortion and other reproductive healthcare,” noted Freda Levenson, Legal Director for the ACLU of Ohio, in Monday’s news release. “The ordinance is blatantly unconstitutional and large portions of it are pure rhetoric.”