Ohio Bans Abortions After 20 Weeks

John Kasich, Ohio Governor, vetoed a law banning abortions after detecting a fetus’s heartbeat and approved another law preventing aborting after 20 weeks.

The proposal that was vetoed is named the heartbeat bill.

The bill would be the nation’s most strict law, banning abortions after six weeks. However, advocates for abortion rights say the 20 week ban is concerning.

Meanwhile, pro-life supporters welcome the decision as another step closer to questioning Roe vs. Wade, the decision by the Supreme Court making abortion legal across the nation.

A Veto ‘In The Interest Of The Public’

The present state law, that Kasich approved in 2011, prohibits abortions after 24 weeks. The exceptions to that rule are rape, incest, and risk to the mother’s life. Abortions starting at 20 weeks require a medical professional finding that life for the fetus isn’t possible. The new laws that start in 3 months make it a fourth-degree felony for doctors to perform an abortion after 20 weeks except when the woman’s life is in danger.

Kasich says he rejected the bill to prevent a long and expensive process that would probably end in a loss. Similar changes in North Dakota and Arkansas were seen as not constitutional in court. Provisions for the bill are opposite of the Supreme Court’s present abortion rulings.

Kasich adds that this defeat brings Ohio more challenges to strict legal security for unborn lives. So, vetoing the bill is in the best interest of the public.

Mike Gonidakis, President of Ohio’s “Right to Life,” agrees that the bill was bound to fail due to the current makeup of the Supreme Court. He says while it must be challenging, the current Supreme Court makeup is completely pro-abortion, requiring the governor to approach with great caution.

He adds that Gov. Kasich offered solid pro-life leadership to fight a fair battle with the federal court, all while saving many babies.

A Disgraceful Attempt To Ban Abortion

This new laws make Ohio the most recent state to approve a 20-week abortion ban this year, behind South Carolina and Georgia.

43 states have abortion restrictions, with a few exceptions by fetal development phases. Some ban abortions after a medical professional determines it will survive. In such laws, there’s no set time period. However, the non-profit American Pregnancy Association said that fetal development begins as early as twenty-four weeks. Other states don’t allow abortion after a specific amount of time after conception.

In previous years, State legislators were considering the bill, but it didn’t pass the Senate. Now, with the election of Trump we assume that he’ll appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court, encouraging Ohio Republicans to approve the law.

President-elect Donald Trump has mentioned overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade law, saying abortion opposition will be a benchmark for choosing justices.

Advocates for abortion rights caution against seeing the veto of the heartbeat bill as a gain when compared to the 20 week ban. They also accuse Kasich of utilizing the “smoke and mirror” effect to ban abortion.

Executive VP of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Dawn Laguens, says that the ban will cause women to travel across state lines to get safe, legal abortions, an obstacle that many women just can’t afford. This is yet another disgraceful attempt of making abortion illegal by John Kasich.