Protesters, city leaders attend ‘Ban Off Our Bodies’ abortion rights march in Cincinnati

Hundreds of people marched from the Hamilton County Courthouse to the Federal Courthouse for...
Hundreds of people marched from the Hamilton County Courthouse to the Federal Courthouse for the "Bans Off Our Bodies" protest.(WXIX)
Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 10:05 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 2, 2022 at 2:26 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Hundreds of people, including city leaders, gathered downtown at the Hamilton County Courthouse Saturday to rally and protest for abortion rights.

Organizers teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Ohio, for the “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally that was held at the Hamilton County Courthouse where organizers and city leaders spoke on their abortion views.

“The time to fight for reproductive health is now, and Ohioans are answering the call. We will not go back,” Organizer Bethany Kerr said.

Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, City Council Members Meeka Owens and Greg Landsman spoke in favor of abortion rights.

The mayor reiterated the legislation policies on abortion rights that was introduced Monday to the public.

“I don’t know what they think in D.C. or how they feel in Columbus, but in Cincinnati, abortion is health care,” Mayor Pureval said Saturday. “That’s why after the calamitous decision by the Supreme Court and the draconian heartbeat bill by our state legislature our city council got to work. We didn’t just offer our thoughts and prayers we took action.”

On Monday, the mayor along with other city leaders introduced three legislative policies in favor of abortion rights. He stated that the city’s health care plan will be changed to include abortion-related health services to the extent that’s allowed under the law.

Following the rally, protesters marched to the Federal Courthouse chanting “We say pro-choice” and “Hey Hey Ho Ho abortion ban has got to go.”

Laura B. Strietmann, Executive Director with Cincinnati’s Right to Life, says there did not need to be a counter-protest at Saturday’s event but instead advised the anti-abortion community to stay home and pray.

“Cincinnati Right to Life and the entire pro-life community has spent fifty years peacefully praying for the overturn of Roe. For five decades, peaceful rallies and marches in the name of preborn people led to this moment of laws finally catching up with science. Rallies centered around supporting fetal poisoning and dismemberment are not safe so pro-lifers stay away and pray on our own.

“Thank you to Attorney General Dave Yost and the Ohio Supreme Court. Our gratitude overflows that Ohio children with a heartbeat will not receive the death penalty for the sake of convenience. These children will live, and the community support in the tristate is ready to assist any family in need. Life is beautiful, and we are here to spread joy in that truth.

“A terrible injustice to humanity was corrected when on June 24, the SCOTUS overturned Roe. Sixty-three million dead children later, we have much work to do in educating the culture on the dignity of preborn people. Women deserve better than abortion. Women deserve better than the falsehood that killing their preborn son or daughter is good for them or anyone.”

Some abortion rights supporters claim lawmakers show how little they value a woman’s body and choices when they create abortion bans.

“This decision of overturning Roe v. Wade is not representing what the people want to do with their lives evidently,” abortion rights supporter, Alexis Bosse, said. “So many people [are] out here today and so many different cities [are] running protests, safe and legal protest, to fight for their rights to safe abortions. I just hope that the Supreme Court, any governors, anybody out there, will listen.”

In 2018, the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization challenged a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the law overturning Roe v. Wade on June 24.

The 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade set a precedent that abortion was protected by the Constitution.

It is now up to the state governments to determine their own abortion laws.

In Ohio, abortion is illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected, according to Attorney General Dave Yost.

This is usually around six weeks into pregnancy. After that, doctors can only save the patient’s life or if their health is seriously compromised.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Ohio, Planned Parenthood Federation, and the law firm Wilmer Hale filed a lawsuit Wednesday in the Ohio Supreme Court to try and block the state’s six-week Ban on abortion.

[Ban on abortion at six weeks remains in place for now, Ohio Supreme Court rules]

The motion was denied on Friday, meaning that abortions cannot be performed at around six weeks or when fetal cardiac activity can first be detected.

The lawsuit is still active, and proceedings will continue while the six-week abortion ban remains in place.

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