Ohio lawmakers passed an austere abortion bill this Tuesday that would ban abortions from occurring as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
This measure, tacked onto a child abuse bill at the last minute, does not make exemptions for rape or incest.
This failure is perhaps the reason why Ohio Governor John Kasich decided to veto the bill, as he has said in the past the he is pro-life except in cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is in danger.
But he did pass another bill – SB 127 – which bans abortions at the 20-week mark. This new law conflicts with Supreme Court rulings that uphold a woman’s right to have an abortion until the point at which the fetus is “viable,” which is typically around 24 weeks.
The Heartbeat Bill was “clearly contrary” to Supreme Court rulings, said Kasich, and would have led to countless failed lawsuits and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent trying to defend the law.
“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,” he continued.
Pro-choice advocates are furious with Kasich for signing the 20-week ban, especially because it – like the failed Heartbeat Bill – does not make exemptions for incest or rape.
“He [Kasich] thinks that by vetoing one abortion ban Ohioans will not notice that he has signed another,” argues Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice. “Kasich’s actions today will fall hardest on low-income women, women of color, and young women. History will not judge Governor Kasich’s disregard for women’s health kindly.”
Ohio is the 16th state to ban abortions at the 20-week mark.