Ohio governor John Kasich just signed one abortion bill and vetoed another

Ohio’s attempt to impede on women’s rights with two abortion bills left to the fate of Ohio Governor John Kasich has come to an end with a decision. Kasich vetoed the “Heartbeat Bill,” which would have banned abortions as soon as a heartbeat is detected, typically around six weeks. But he signed another harmful bill that bans abortion at 20 weeks and beyond, because the government just can’t keep its nose out of women’s bodies.

Cleveland.com political reporter Henry J. Gomez says the governor said the 20-week ban is best. Best for whom, is unclear. “[The 20-week ban] is the best, most legally sound and sustainable approach to protecting the sanctity of human life,” Kasich said. Before today, Kasich had signed 17 abortion-related restrictions since 2011.

Protestors in Ohio have found creative ways to protest the the bills, making the point that both of these bills would restrict women’s access to abortion, causing them to go to extreme measures to have the procedure. Women have tied coat hangers to the fence around the Ohio Statehouse with signs that read “stop the ban” or “healthcare not hangers.”

Ohio is the 18th state to have a 20-week abortion ban signed into law. While the “Heartbeat Bill” veto is good news, it’s bittersweet. Abortion advocates worry the 20-week ban could lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that protects a woman’s right to have an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, which is typically 22 to 24 weeks. In the rare cases when women have an abortion after 20 weeks (it’s fewer than 1 percent), it’s usually due to a severe birth defect that can harm the baby, the mother or both.

Kasich said the “Heartbeat Bill” was “clearly contrary” to Supreme Court rulings, but the moderate governor is opposed to abortion rights. Both bills were passed last week in Ohio’s Republican run House and Senate, although the governor vetoed one.

The reproductive rights of women have been under attack for years, but has been pushed to the forefront of the GOP since the election of Donald Trump. Planned Parenthood Action Fund spokesperson Dawn Laguens told The Huffington Post Ohio’s 20-week ban is “just another shameful attempt by John Kasich to make abortion illegal.”

“Kasich is on a mission to make abortion illegal in Ohio, and he’s intent on using smoke and mirrors and backdoor politics to do it,” she said. “He may hope that by vetoing a six-week ban – which would have virtually banned abortion with almost no exceptions – he comes off as moderate. But Ohio women see right through this and reject this extreme agenda. The 20-week ban will force women to travel long distances and cross state lines in order to access safe, legal abortion –– a barrier that many women simply cannot afford.”

Now is a good time to remind you to give your money to women and pro-women’s organizations.