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

MASON — Mason’s city council voted this week to ban abortions within their city limits, joining Lebanon as the second city in the state to pass a city ordinance on the topic this year.

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

After a heated council meeting Monday, city councilors voted four to three to pass the ordinance that criminalizes abortions declaring the city the next “sanctuary for the unborn”. The ordinance will go into effect in 30 days.

The ordinance will make it illegal 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.

>>Beavercreek girl beaten with belt ‘approximately 200 times;’ 4 charged with suspected child abuse

The City of Mason does not have any abortion clinics within their city limits.

The Mason ordinance is similar to the one approved in Lebanon in May. Both bills in Mason and Lebanon were prepared and proposed by the same Texas-based right-to-life organization.

In addition to prohibiting a person from procuring or performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy inside the city limits, the ordinance also outlaws any person from providing transportation to or from an abortion provider; giving instructions over the telephone, the internet, or any other medium of communication regarding self-administered abortion; providing money with the knowledge that it will be used to pay for an abortion or the costs associated in obtaining an abortion; providing abortion doula services; or coercing or pressuring a pregnant mother to have an abortion against her will, according to our news partners at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.

The vote brought heated response from residents and those who came to speak from outside of Mason. Many have protested against the ordinance for months since it was announced, the station reported.

“It matters because each city that passes this crap takes one more chip out of our freedom,” said Jeni Keeler, a Mason resident who spoke out against the ordinance. “If we don’t stand up, if we remain silent while our neighbors and daughters have their rights taken away by three or four or seven people, what’s next?”

“We love and value our children. We value life it only makes sense that in Mason we should also be a sanctuary for the unborn,” said Karen Borgemenke, a Mason resident who spoke out in favor of the ordinance.