The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio recently erected ten billboards across the state to inform residents that “abortion is still legal in Ohio.”
In announcing the campaign, communications associate Sarah Khan-Williamson said that her friends and family would refer to Ohio as “crazy territory where women had no rights” when the State Legislature passed its heartbeat bill last year.
“Being born and raised in the D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia area, I was lucky enough to never have to deal with restrictive laws that ultimately decided what would happen with my body when it comes to reproductive health,” Khan-Williamson said in a blog post. “But now I officially lived in a state that was making headlines all across the world for passing an incredibly egregious law that not only restricted abortions to a nearly impossible time frame, but essentially was outlined in a way that it ultimately was a near-total abortion ban.”
As she notes, the heartbeat bill was immediately challenged in court after its passage and a federal judge temporarily blocked the law from taking effect in a July ruling. The ACLU of Ohio, Planned Parenthood, and Preterm-Cleveland have since filed a motion requesting a permanent injunction against the bill.
“Here’s the thing – while media outlets from all over covered the insanity that ensued when the bill was introduced and subsequently signed into law, the same attention was not given to the trajectory of the law afterwards due to a myriad of reasons. And because of that, there is a common belief that the law is effective – when it simply is not,” Khan-Williamson continued.
She said there “is utter confusion around the legality of abortion in Ohio,” which is why the ACLU “recently took to the highways and streets with ten massive billboards positioned all across the state with a very simple message: abortion is still legal in Ohio.”
“Because it is. It’s a fact. These billboards aren’t an attempt to troll anyone or a subtle move to agitate abortion proponents. They are to let people know the truth,” she said.
The ACLU of Ohio said on Twitter that the billboards are displayed in eight cities across the state.
We took this message to to 8 cities because abortion is STILL legal in Ohio.
📣 It's a fact.
These billboards tell the truth. And every Ohioan deserves to know the truth about issues that affect their family, their body, and their constitutional rights.https://t.co/Vwc5KmMcw6
— ACLU of Ohio (@acluohio) February 6, 2020
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Abortion Is STILL Legal in Ohio Billboard” by ACLU Ohio.