A city council meeting in Ohio had to be shut down late Monday after abortion activists with Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups harassed council members and pro-life advocates, shouting over them so they could not speak.
Abortion activists showed up at the Mason City Council meeting to protest a proposed Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance, which would protect unborn babies by banning abortions in the city.
Hours into the meeting, however, security officers advised the council to immediately adjourn due to safety concerns, according to a video of the meeting posted on ICRC-TV.
Allie Frazier, director of communications at Ohio Right to Life, told LifeNews that she attended the meeting to show support for the proposed ordinance. It was during her public testimony that abortion activists became even more loud and aggressive, prompting security officers to call for an end to the meeting.
“It was a tense situation,” Frazier said. “The pro-abortion side has made it very clear that they will do whatever it takes, including violating parliamentary procedure, to harass elected officials – or just citizens like me.”
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The pro-life ordinance was not on the agenda Monday, but Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups planned a protest in expectation that it will be introduced soon. Pro-life groups also showed up to support the ordinance. Frazier said the meeting was standing room only.
During a lengthy public comment period, Frazier said abortion activists in the room repeatedly disrupted pro-lifers’ testimonies, yelling at them and heckling them. She commended Mayor Kathy Grossmann for remaining calm and respectful while trying to keep order.
“They accused me of harassment,” she told LifeNews afterward. “They yelled at the mayor, a lady who was trying her best to keep order … but could not control the vitriol.”
When it was Frazier’s turn to speak, the yelling and heckling grew worse.
“This ordinance is a vital, life-saving proposal which will protect the most vulnerable in Mason from becoming victims of abortion,” Frazier began her public comment. “Abortion has no place in this city, which is full of compassionate people who respect life and family and don’t want to see the violent action of abortion allowed in their community.”
She told the council that society needs to be clear about what abortion is: “It victimizes women, and it kills babies.”
Her comment drew shouts from abortion activists. Frazier tried to continue, but the mayor eventually had to intervene. Grossmann criticized the protesters for “heckling” others and being “rude, disruptive” and intolerant.
The mayor reassured the abortion activists that the council wants to hear all opinions on the matter and supports free speech, but people kept shouting. As the yelling continued, another city leader called for a 5-minute recess, noting security concerns. Abortion activists continued to yell as the council members left the room.
When they returned, City Manager Eric Hansen quickly adjourned the meeting based on a “strong recommendation” from campus safety officers. He apologized to the people who signed up to give public comment but did not get the chance to speak.
Frazier said pro-lifers will not be intimidated into silence. She also said she feels for the women who yelled at her.
“I honestly think that these women who are speaking out with so much vitriol and so much anger are speaking from a place of deep hurt,” she told LifeNews. “I pray for them. It breaks my heart that they would feel so threatened by a person like me who wants nothing more than to embrace them … and be a voice for life.”
She said the pro-life movement is one of peaceful advocacy and compassion, and she hopes one day the people who harassed her will realize the truth.
Mason (population 33,000) may follow Lebanon, Ohio in becoming the second city in the state and more than 30 others across the country in passing a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance.
It is not clear when the council may vote on the pro-life ordinance.