Governor vetoes heartbeat bill

(Ohio) – Ohio Governor John Kasich has vetoed a bill that would have made abortions after a heartbeat is detectable, illegal.

In a public statement, Kasich explained the bill’s provisions were contrary to current rulings by the Supreme Court on abortion. He noted the bill would likely be struck down by the courts.

Governor Kasich’s full 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.

Despite this veto, Kasich has already signed House Bill 145, which bans dilation and evacuation, which is a procedure used in many abortions after 13 weeks into a pregnancy. Supports of that bill stress the process is inhumane and painful for the fetus while opponents argue the bill is unconstitutional and eliminates a safe and effective medical procedure.


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