Gov. John Kasich signed a bill into law last week that no longer allows the abortion method usually done during the second trimester of pregnancy.
Dismemberment abortion, also known as dilation and evacuation (D&E,) is when a mother’s cervix is dilated and the baby’s limbs are then removed before the fetus is extracted from the uterus.
The Senate Bill 145 will prohibit this procedure and there is an exception to the law if the mother’s life is at risk. Doctors in Ohio that perform this abortion method could face fourth-degree felony charges, which includes jail time and fines.
Kasich has signed more than 20 laws restricting abortion in his state during his eight years in office, which has led to a 25 percent decrease in abortions.
In 2017, there were 3,500 dismemberment abortions done in Ohio, according to the state’s Department of Health. In the past three years, 17 other states have introduced similar bills barring the dismemberment method. Only nine states have passed this type of legislation, but seven have been blocked by the courts.
The Dismemberment Abortion Ban will go into effect in March of 2019 in Ohio.
Pro-life groups were quick to celebrate the bill’s passing.
“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. “Ohioans can sleep easier tonight, knowing that the horrendous practice of dismemberment abortions is behind us.”
While pro-choice groups condemned the legislation, especially because it doesn’t include an exception for rape or incest.
Iris Harvey, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio said that “again let the people of Ohio down by using extreme legislation to turn medical decision-making into political ideology” and “the method ban dangerously limits people’s options, undermines patients’ constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion, and compromises medical providers’ decision making.”
However, Kasich did veto another abortion bill, “the heartbeat bill. But Gov.-elect Mike DeWine, who will be in office next month, has said that he would sign this bill into law.
“The prospect of ending abortion in Ohio has never looked better,” said Gonidakis.
Editor’s note: These are substantial moves in the pro-Life world, and Governor Kasich will gain some fans. But he recently vetoed the “heardbeat” bill which would have been way more restrictive. This latter action may preclude him from using it as a qualification to the conservative base, if he decides to run for President. But it may make him more palatable to the left and middle of the road voters.