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Pro-choice demonstrators protest new state restrictions 

| June 30, 2022
New Philadelphia resident Stephanie Bond leads protestors in a chant during an abortion rights demonstration on the square in downtown New Philadelphia. (WJER)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 30,2022) – A couple hundred people gathered around the square in downtown New Philadelphia Wednesday evening to protest Ohio’s new abortion restrictions.

Two New Philadelphia women, Stephanie Bond and Deborah Meese, organized the demonstration that followed a smaller one in downtown Dover this past weekend. 

“We had a small gathering on Sunday, about 10 people, and chose to plan something in advance but we didn’t expect it to get this big, so it’s really encouraging to see a lot of the community actually coming out to support us,” Bond said.

Participants held signs and chanted in unison for two hours as sheriff’s deputies stood by monitoring the situation, although it doesn’t appear there were any issues. Bond and Meese say they’re planning another protest on the square next Wednesday at 1 pm, which is when the county commissioners ordinarily meet in their board room overlooking the courthouse plaza.

“We’re working to kind of rally people up who are passionate about this so we can continue to protest until November,” said Bond, a single mother, and sexual assault survivor. 

Meese was concerned about the future of her two daughters and what might happen next. 

“It’s starting to seem like we’re being pushed against more and more is being taken away from us. And if we don’t start somewhere with fighting back, when is it going to end? How bad is it going to get.” 

ACLU of Ohio and Planned Parenthood are suing to block enforcement of Ohio’s new law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, unless the mother’s life is at stake. It went into effect Friday hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

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