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Mason City Council passes abortion ban in city limits

The ordinance will take effect on Nov. 24.
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 4:52 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2021 at 5:15 AM EDT
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WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - Mason City Council voted Monday night to ban abortion and punish anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion in city limits.

Council members voted 4-3 to make Mason the second Tri-State city to become a so-called “sanctuary city for the unborn.

Mayor Kathy Grossman and Councilmembers Tony Bradburn, T.J. Honerlaw and Mike Gilb voted for the ordinance.

Councilmembers Ashley Chance, Diana Nelson and Josh Styrcula voted against, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The ordinance will take effect 30 days after passage, or on Nov. 24.

The 7 p.m. meeting briefly adjourned after council members passed a motion to restrict attendance to Mason residents. Ninety minutes of public comment followed, and the vote came after that.

Because the ordinance was not passed as an emergency ordinance, it could be subject to a referendum.

A similar ordinance was passed in Lebanon earlier this year.

There are no abortion clinics in Mason.

The ordinance outlaws abortion in city limits and declares Mason “a sanctuary for the unborn, making various provisions and findings, providing for severability, establishing an effective date, and declaring an emergency.”

The ordinance (read it here) also targets those who might assist someone in seeking an abortion. Anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion in Mason will be considered “a criminal and a felon.”

Violators will be subject to a year in prison and $2,500 in fines for each abortion performed.

The first reading of the ordinance earlier this month drew protests and packed crowds to the council meeting. Public comment lasted three hours.

A nonprofit group called Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn, funded by the Right to Life of East Texas, assisted Mason City Council in crafting the ordinance.

The group claims to have helped 38 cities with sanctuary ordinances.

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