The City of Mason, Ohio just passed a measure to become the second city in the state to provide sanctuary for the unborn, and the 41st of a growing movement of localities that have opted to ban the practice outright within their city limits.
On Monday night, four out of the city’s seven city council members voted to outlaw abortion, Dayton 27 Now reported.
The new ordinance will go into effect 30 days from Monday.
Like many such sanctuary city laws, the ordinance makes it a crime to perform an abortion or help another person to so. Violators are subject to up to one year in jail and fines as high as $2,500.
Local pro-life activists praised the move.
“I think the people have made it clear that this is what they want. You know, we can’t control what happens in other cities. Mason gets to decide for itself what it wants to do in the life issue, and with this vote, the city of Mason will be taking a stand and saying, ‘We are not gonna let the violence of abortion be perpetuated in our city,’” Allie Frazier with Ohio Right to Life was quoted as saying by the outlet.
“The city of Mason has always been a safe place for people to live and grow,” said Mike Gonidakis, the organization’s president, as LifeNews reported. “With tonight’s vote, Mason’s smallest citizens, unborn babies, are now safe as well. Mason has taken a stand against the violence of abortion and for the protection of women and babies.”
Councilman T.J. Honerlaw called it an “honor” to work to pass the ordinance.
“Passing the sanctuary city for the unborn ordinance is my greatest accomplishment while serving my first term on Mason City Council. It’s been an honor to work with my pro-life colleagues to keep abortion out of Mason,” he said.
Not everyone was a fan, of course.
“The decisions about keeping or not a child are very deeply personal and it shouldn’t. My question when I’m in the conversation with a doctor should not be, ‘What does city council think?’” resident Joy Bennett, who opposed the ordinance, said.
The ordinance is expected to invite legal challenges, as others have done. While Mason and many of Texas’ sanctuary cities for the unborn do not have abortion clinics, the city of Lubbock, Texas, does, and has been locked in a legal battle with Planned Parenthood, which was forced to stop committing abortions earlier this year after Lubbock passed an ordinance banning them within city limits.
So far, Lubbock, Texas is the biggest city in the nation to pass such an ordinance.
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