Governor Kasich vetoes ‘Heartbeat’ abortion bill

Ohio Statehouse Newsroom

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Governor John Kasich has vetoed a bill that would have banned abortions in Ohio after a heartbeat is detectable.

In a statement explaining his veto, Kasich said the bill’s provisions are contrary to current Supreme Court rulings on abortion and would likely be struck down by the courts.

Governor Kasich’s full veto message:

December 21, 2018 
Pursuant to Article H, Section 16, of the Ohio Constitution, which states that the Governor may disapprove of any bill, I hereby disapprove of Substitute House Bill 258 (Sub. H.B. 258) and set forth the following reasons for so doing. 

As governor I have worked hard to strengthen Ohio’s protections for the sanctity of human life, and I have a deep respect for my fellow members of the pro-life community and their ongoing efforts in defense of unborn life. However, the central provision of Sub. H.B. 258, that an abortion cannot be performed if a heartbeat has been detected in the unborn child, is contrary to the Supreme Court of the United States’ current rulings on abortion. Because the lower federal courts are bound to follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s precedents on abortion, Sub. H.B. 258 will likely be struck down as unconstitutional. The State of Ohio will be the losing party in that lawsuit and, as the losing party, the State of Ohio will be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to cover the legal fees for the pro-choice activists’ lawyers. Therefore, this veto is in the public interest. 

Kasich signed House Bill 145, which criminalizes dilation and evacuation, a procedure used in most abortions after 13 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy.

Supporters of the bill say the abortion method is inhumane and painful for the fetus; opponents say the bill is unconstitutional and would eliminate safe and effective medical procedure.

Ohio Right to Life and NARAL Ohio both issued statements on the signing of House Bill 145.

“John Kasich is reckless and irresponsible. He has now enacted 21 attacks on abortion access and reproductive health care funding during his eight years as governor. He has ignored pleas from Ohio’s medical community that politicians should not interfere with the doctor-patient relationship or block access to abortion care in our state. As a result of Kasich’s barrage of laws that criminalize doctors, many of the best and brightest medical providers have left Ohio, with still more deciding not to come here in the first place. Kasich’s actions today are his worst yet,” said Kellie Copeland, Executive Director of NARAL Ohio.

“Ohio Right to Life is immensely grateful to our governor and our pro-life legislature for prioritizing this crucial legislation,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. “Ohio Right to Life has seen 21 pro-life initiatives become law in the last eight years. All of these initiatives have led to abortions decreasing by more than 25% in Ohio, and half of Ohio’s abortion clinics shutting down. With four years of pro-life Governor-elect Mike DeWine ahead of us, the prospect of ending abortion in Ohio has never looked better.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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