Mason City Council repeals anti-abortion ordinance

MASON — Seven weeks after Mason’s City Council approved a controversial local ban on abortions, newly elected councilors voted to repeal the ordinance during their meeting Monday night.

>>RELATED: Mason council approves local abortion ban; Second Warren County city to enact ordinance

After narrowly passing the ordnance in late October by a vote of 4-3, councilors voted 6-1 Monday in favor of repealing the ordinance that originally declared Mason a “sanctuary city for the unborn,” according to our news partners at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.

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The ban as it was originally passed made it illegal to perform an abortion and for people to have, or distribute abortion-inducing drugs. However it will not penalize a person who is looking to get an abortion, or stop medical practices from opening in Mason, whether they provide abortions or not. The City of Mason does not have any abortion clinics within their city limits.

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Voting to repeal the ban were Mayor Barbara Spaeth, Vice Mayor Diana Nelson and council members Tony Bradburn, Ashley Chance, Mark Haake and Josh Styrcula. Former mayor Kathy Grossman was the only member who voted against the repeal, the station reports.

>>RELATED: Lebanon council passes local abortion ban, first Ohio city to approve measure

Grossman was one of the four members who voted to approve the ban in October. Two others who voted to approve the ordinance, Mike Gilb, TJ Honerlaw, were voted out of office in the November election. Honerlaw, who was the sponsor of the bill finished last in the council votes, according to WCPO-TV.

“The Democrats, obviously, it’s a big issue for them...so I know it fired up the Democrat side, but I spoke to a lot of Republicans that felt the same way,” Haake told WCPO.

“This ordinance was not going to change anything for the city. It wasn’t going to stop abortions — [Grossman] even admitted that in a meeting. It became a political issue...timing seems pretty clear that it was meant to inflame one side that they felt was going to be stronger and get them more votes.”

“That is not an issue that Mason City Council should have ever been dealing with,” Spaeth previously said in a statement to WCPO. “The ordinance was not even enforceable, so why should we even be considering that?”

During Monday’s council meeting, seven Mason residents spoke in favor of repealing the ordinance while two spoke in favor of it.

Mason was the second Warren County city to originally enact a local abortion ban, following Lebanon who enacted one earlier in the year. Celina considered a similar move and a proposal that would ban abortions and fine those who perform them has been proposed in the Ohio House.