LIMA — Women in the United States have had reproductive rights 45 years, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a woman’s right to an abortion. Since then, the anti-abortion movement has protested the landmark ruling each year on its anniversary. The national march was held Friday in Washington. On Sunday, a local group held a march, which began at Heartbeat of Lima’s Pregnancy Resource Center at 226 S. Elizabeth St.
“It’s wonderful to see the turnout that we get and the people that come forward and want to do their part. It’s not Washington, D.C. We’re very small, but we get a wonderful response of people showing the support of those who have been affected by abortion and are there for those who are in crisis pregnancies or in situations where they need help now, today,” said Patti Kennedy, Executive Director of Heartbeat of Lima.
This group would like to see zero abortions performed and are encouraged by declines in the numbers of women seeking them.
“In the state of Ohio [in 2017] there were 19,543 Ohio residents that had an abortion. In 2006 that number was 30,809 so that gives us a little bit of an idea over the past ten years how much that has changed. In Allen and Putnam Counties, there were 99 women who had abortions that were residents of those two counties in the past year. In 2010, when the abortion clinic opened next door to us and we added the ultrasound services, at that point in time there were 166 abortions between the two counties,” Kennedy said.
After a short prayer, the group made their way to The Meeting Place where they heard from Sue Hanf. She was born and raised on the west side of Cleveland and moved to Lima almost five years ago. While in Cleveland, she was facilitator for a program called HEART which is Healing the Effects for Abortion Related Trauma.
She shared a personal story of a fetus she had aborted.
“I was 17 years old and I was in a crisis pregnancy and I made a very selfish choice,” Hanf said. “I was a senior in high school. It was very rough. It affected my whole life from my marriage to my children. My parents don’t even know about that and they’re in heaven now so they’ve met my child,” she said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.