Earlier this week, at the urging of a Texas group that opposes abortion, the city council in Lebanon in southwest Ohio passed a law making it illegal to perform them there. But, there’s a part of that new law that leaves some considering a lawsuit.
Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio, says the new law is a way for the council to satisfy abortion opponents.
“I do think it is largely posturing when it purports to outlaw abortion clinics in Lebanon because there are none and there’s never been any plan to establish one," Levenson says.
But Levenson says part of the new law would make it illegal to aid and abet someone who is getting an abortion outside Lebanon.
"This is where it actually gets dangerous because people need assistance with funds for the procedure, people need child care when they are undergoing an abortion because most women seeking abortions already have children, and people need help with transportation. A patient can't drive herself home after some procedures," Levenson explains.
Levenson says this new law could charge people who provide that sort of assistance for women who receive abortions, which are still legal, might face prosecution. She says the ACLU is considering filing a lawsuit against the city. Under the new law, a woman receiving an abortion cannot be charged with a crime.