Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio vetoed a bill that would have banned abortion if a single heartbeat had been detected, but signed a bill that bans abortion at 24 weeks.
As a result, Kasich was criticized by pro-life and pro-choice activists.
Kasich, who has a strong pro-life record, said his decision to veto the heartbeat bill was based on the fact that similar laws had been passed in other states but were ultimately struck down by the Supreme Court.
Kasich offered a statement, according to the Columbus Dispatch:
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Because the federal courts are bound to follow the Supreme Court's rulings on abortion, the amendment to [House Bill 493] will be struck down. 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. Furthermore, such a defeat invites additional challenges to Ohio's strong legal protections for unborn life. Therefore, this veto is in the public interest.
Janet Folger Porter, president and founder of Faith2Action, which supported the heartbeat bill, criticized Kasich for his veto.
“While Governor Kasich betrayed life, broke his pro-life promises, and turned his back on 20,000 babies whose heartbeats can be heard, the battle is not over,” she said, according to the Toledo Blade. “We are just two votes away from overriding his veto in the Ohio House.”
But Kasich did sign a bill that criminalized abortion at 24 weeks.
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“I agree with Ohio Right to Life and other leading, pro-life advocates that Senate Bill 127 (the 20-week ban) is the best, most legally sound and sustainable approach to protecting the sanctity of human life," Kasich said, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
That signing was then criticized by pro-choice activists.
Don’t let John Kasich fool you,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “He is one of the most extreme anti-abortion governors in this country. Kasich is on a mission to make abortion illegal in Ohio, and he’s intent on using smoke and mirrors and backdoor politics to do it.
“He may hope that by vetoing a six-week ban — which would have virtually banned abortion with almost no exceptions — he comes off as moderate,” said Laguens, reported the Toledo Blade. “But Ohio women see right through this and reject this extreme agenda.”