Ohio Bans Abortions After 20 Weeks, but Governor Vetoes 'Heartbeat Bill"
Governor John Kasich of the US state of Ohio has vetoed an abortion bill that would have banned most abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy due to concerns that it could be unconstitutional. Instead he signed a 20-week abortion ban, a time limit which is already in place in 15 US states. Mr Kasich called this bill the “best, most legally sound and sustainable approach to protecting the sanctity of human life”.
The two bills both fell on Mr Kasich's desk at the same time and had both been approved by the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate.
The vetoed “heartbeat” bill would have set the cut-off point for legal abortions at the first time the baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Mr Kasich said he believed that its passing would have led to costly legal challenges, which he felt the state had no chance of winning. “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,” said Mr Kasich, adding that he believed the veto was in the public interest.
Ohio lawmakers still have the option to override his veto.
Critics of the 20-week abortion ban see it as paving the way for an attempt to overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision, which states that abortion is legal until a foetus is viable, typically between 22 and 24 weeks.
BBC. December 13.