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Kasich Vetoes Ohio ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban, Signs 20-Week Legislation

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Kasich Vetoes Ohio ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban, Signs 20-Week Legislation

Kasich, Ohio Abortion Ban

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Republican Governor John Kasich signed a 20-week abortion ban into law on Tuesday but vetoed stricter legislation that would have forbidden the procedure once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks after conception.

Kasich, an abortion opponent, said in a statement that the proposed six-week legislation would be contrary to U.S. Supreme Court rulings on abortion, opening the state to potentially costly legal battles, and the veto was “in the public interest.”

“I agree with Ohio Right to Life and other leading, pro-life advocates that SB 127 is the best, most legally sound and sustainable approach to protecting the sanctity of human life,” Kasich said in a statement on the 20-week law, which lawmakers approved last week.

Neither of the measures made exceptions for rape or incest, although both allow for abortions that would save the mother’s life.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide more than four decades ago, but states were allowed to permit restrictions once a fetus was viable. Some states, particularly those governed by Republicans such as Ohio, have sought to restrict abortion.

More than 10 states have put 20-week abortion bans in place, but federal courts in Arizona and Idaho have ruled them unconstitutional.

Under current law, Ohio prohibits abortion once a fetus is considered viable outside the womb, which is from 24 to 26 weeks of gestation.

Lower courts have struck down stricter “heartbeat” laws, like the one Kasich vetoed on Tuesday, in North Dakota and Arkansas. The Supreme Court refused to hear appeals on those rulings in January.

Kasich’s decisions quickly drew criticism from both anti-abortion and abortion rights organizations.

“John Kasich is treating women’s health care like a game,” Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said in a statement after the signing.

“He thinks that by vetoing one abortion ban Ohioans will not notice that he has signed another. The 20-week abortion ban callously disregards the unique circumstances that surround a woman’s pregnancy.”

Meanwhile, anti-abortion group Faith2Action, called Kasich’s veto of the six-week ban a “betrayal of life,” and urged supporters to call lawmakers to try to persuade them to override Kasich’s veto.

At least three-fifths of the members of both the Republican-led state House of Representatives and the state Senate would have to vote in favor of overriding the governor’s veto in order to overturn it.

(Writing by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; editing by Dan Grebler and Jonathan Oatis)

IMAGE: Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque



  1. Lynda Groom December 13, 2016

    I can’t help but wonder if the republicans will ever allow themselves to say out of others underpants?

  2. FireBaron December 14, 2016

    I would be willing to bet if the “Right-to-Life” organizations that promote these legislative actions were forced to carry at least 1/2 of the financial burden of supporting them in the ensuing legal challenges, they would quickly back off.
    Then you have the other ironies expressed by these same “Right-to-Life” groups. As a rule they are opposed to state-supported prenatal care, they are opposed to programs designed to help with nutrition, vaccination and general health of the child after birth, they are opposed to preschool programs, most are opposed to public education in general.
    The thing that really makes me laugh is how many of these “Right-to-Life” folks are also 100% in favor of the Death Penalty! Realistically, they should change their tag line from “Right-to-Life” to “Right-to-Birth” as that appears to be the only portion of any person’s life that they are concerned about. Once the person is born, it can die and “reduce the surplus population”, as Ebeneezer Scrooge once famously said.

    1. dpaano December 14, 2016

      I agree…I’ve noticed that once the baby is born, the State steps away from any thought of caring for the child or helping a single mother care of the child….and you NEVER see them step up to go after the father that just suddenly disappeared when the woman got pregnant! Seems to me it would be better if the State would go after these erstwhile “fathers” and make THEM pay for the support of THEIR child for 18 years! Why do they get off with nothing while the woman has to suffer in trying to support her child and herself with absolutely NO help from the State that MADE her have the baby in the first place! Accidents DO happen, you know, and getting pregnant oftimes is an accident. And, with the states doing away with Planned Parenthood groups…..where is a woman to go for birth control or any other help that she needs?

  3. Dan S December 14, 2016

    Make America great again for women. Grab them by the crotch, force an unwanted pregnancy on them then deny them the right to terminate. These were the good old days and can be again ????

  4. dpaano December 14, 2016

    Doesn’t the state of Ohio have anything better to deal with than getting involved in a woman’s decision to have an abortion or not? Seriously? This is getting ridiculous! Just because so-called Christians believe that this is terrible, it’s none of their business either!

  5. johninPCFL December 14, 2016

    It’ll be interesting to see if any of these idiots ever have to deal with the parental rights they create for the rapists and perpetrators of the incest they so want to protect.


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