Ohio Governor Kasich Signs An Abortion Bill and Vetoes Another
On Tuesday, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a new law that bans abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy. However, he also vetoed a measure that was much more restrictive that would have banned abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which could be as early as just six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy.
In making the decision between the two bans, that the legislature in Ohio adopted a week ago, Kasich said the heartbeat measure was a clear contradiction to the current ruling of the Supreme Court on abortion.
Kasich called the measure banning abortions after week 20 the most legally sound and best sustainable approach to the protection of the sanctity of human life.
There are no exceptions for incest or rape included in the 20-week measure and advocates for abortion rights consider the measure extreme.
Under existing law in Ohio, there is an exception based on the life of the mother, a spokesperson from Kasich’s office said.
Ohio at this time bans abortions following the 24th week of pregnancy.
With the signature of the governor, Ohio is now the 18th state that has adopted an abortion ban at 20 weeks, though two of those bans in Idaho and Arizona, were struck down as being unconstitutional by a federal court.
Legal experts have said that the 20-week Ohio ban is much more likely to survive a challenge of constitutionality than the bill based on the fetal heartbeat.
Barring any court action, the measure will become law after 90 days, but is appears inevitable that a legal challenge will take place.
On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union said that the new measure is in fact unconstitutional and would harm both women and families and is expected to file a lawsuit blocking it.
Each year, there are close to 20,000 abortions performed in the state of Ohio said one legal expert, and less than 2% of those take place after the pregnancy has reached 20 weeks.
While Ohio maintains a record of abortion in the state, it does not keep track of the different reasons the pregnancy was terminated. Opponents of abortion argue one abortion is too many.
Actions by Kasich come as advocates for abortion rights and opponents of abortion across the U.S. are readying for big battles following the surprise election of Donald Trump.
People on each side of the abortion debate see the rights to have an abortion in more danger than any time since the landmark Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade.