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Kasich Vetoes Controversial Abortion Ban

Gov. John Kasich
credit Dan Konik
Gov. John Kasich

Gov. John Kasich has vetoed the so called "Heartbeat Bill" but has signed another into law. 

In his veto of the "Heartbeat Bill"that would outlaw abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat is detected, Kasich said it is likely unconstitutional. And he said unsuccessfully defending it in court would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

But Kasich did sign legislation that outlaws the dialation and evacuation procedure commonly used in abortions at about 12 weeks gestation, the start of the second trimester. That same procedure is sometimes used after women suffer miscarriages, but lawmakers added language to the bill they said clarifies the ban does not apply in those situations.

Neither the "Heartbeat Bill" nor the 12-week-ban allows an exemption for cases of rape or incest. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio called Kasich "reckless and irresponsible" for signing the bill, especially since it didn't include that exception. 

The group said many doctors have left Ohio in recent years because of a barrage of new abortion laws that interfere with the doctor-patient relationship. The advocates say these restrictions have made abortion inaccessible and unsafe. 

Ohio Right to Life endorsed the second trimester procedure ban. 

Its president, Mike Gonidakis said, in a written statement, "With four years of pro-life Governor-elect Mike DeWine ahead of us, the prospect of ending abortion in Ohio has never looked better." 

Gonidakis noted this is the 21st abortion restriction Kasich has authorized and credits recent crackdowns on abortion for decreasing abortions in Ohio since the governor took office. The most recent Ohio Abortion Report, however, showed a slight increase in the number of abortions in Ohio. But the number of abortion clinics operating in Ohio has during Kasich's term has been cut in half.

Kasich had promised to veto the "Heartbeat Bill," just as he did two years ago.  And like now, Kasich was able to sign another abortion bill, a ban on abortion at 20 weeks, at the same time. 

There are legislative sessions scheduled next week, but it’s looking less likely that the House and Senate will have enough votes to override the veto on the "Heartbeat Bill."

Story was updated at 9:20 p.m., EST  December 21, 2019

Contact Jo Ingles at
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