Ohio Gov. Kasich Vetoes Heartbeat Bill, Signs 'Horrific' 20-Week Abortion Ban

Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) on Tuesday signed a 20-week abortion ban into law, ensuring that reproductive rights in the state remain under attack even as he vetoed the more controversial “heartbeat” bill that would have banned abortions as early as six weeks.

The new law, known as SB 127, bans abortions after 20 weeks and does not include exceptions for rape or incest.

Kasich said the heartbeat bill would have violated the U.S. Supreme Court’s previous rulings on abortion. Yet the 20-week ban also goes against the decision made in Roe v. Wade, which protects the right to choose until around 24 weeks, when the fetus becomes viable.

Pro-choice advocates said Kasich’s signing virtually confirms previous fears that the six-week ban may have been a ploy to distract from the 20-week restriction, which seems more reasonable by comparison.

“John Kasich is treating women’s healthcare like a game,” Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said after the signing. “He thinks that by vetoing one abortion ban Ohioans will not notice that he has signed another. The 20-week abortion ban callously disregards the unique circumstances that surround a woman’s pregnancy.”