Lame-Duck Kasich Reviled by Both Left and Right over Abortion Indecision

‘John Kasich is reckless and irresponsible. … Kasich’s actions today are his worst yet…’

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(Laura A. Bischoff, Dayton Daily News) Lame-duck Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Friday defied his own GOP legislature by controversially vetoing a bill that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

Kasich signed a separate measure to prohibit aborting pregnancies using a common surgical procedure.

Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Columbus next week to consider overriding vetoes and finish other matters. An override requires 20 votes in the Senate and 60 in the House—high thresholds that may not be met.

The heartbeat bill would make it a felony for physicians or anyone to perform abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is usually around six weeks gestation before some women even know they’re pregnant. House Bill 258, which passed 60-35, allows for abortions if there is a medical emergency but doesn’t provide exceptions in cases of rape or incest.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said in a written statement: “John Kasich is reckless and irresponsible. … Kasich’s actions today are his worst yet.”

In his veto message, Kasich said HB258 would likely be struck down as unconstitutional and Ohio would be stuck paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for the other side.

The Republican governor signed into law Senate Bill 145, which would outlaw abortions performed by dilation and evacuation, a procedure commonly used to terminate pregnancies between 13 and 24 weeks gestation.

In 2017, 3,441 D&E abortions were performed in Ohio, according to state records.

Two years ago during the lame-duck session, Kasich vetoed a similar heartbeat bill and signed into law a ban on abortions after 20 weeks gestation.

(c)2018 Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.