Republican Gov. John Kasich Vetoes Bill Banning Abortion When Heartbeat Detected, Signs 20-Week Ban

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Republican governor and former presidential candidate John Kasich vetoed a bill on Tuesday that would have banned abortion when a heartbeat is detected, while signing into law legislation that bans abortion after 20 weeks gestation.

“Certain provisions … are clearly contrary to the Supreme Court of the United States’ current rulings on abortion,” he said in an explanatory statement released by his office.

As previously reported, the Unborn Heartbeat Protection Act was approved by the Senate 21-10 last Tuesday, being attached as an amendment to a child abuse bill. It then passed the House 56-39.

“A person who intends to perform an abortion on a pregnant woman shall determine if there is the presence of a fetal heartbeat of the unborn human individual that the pregnant woman is carrying according to standard medical practice,” the Act reads in part.

“Except when a medical emergency exists that prevents compliance with this division, no person shall perform an abortion on a pregnant woman prior to determining if the fetus the pregnant woman is carrying has a detectable fetal heartbeat,” it declares, punishing violators with up to a year of jail time and/or other disciplinary action.

Kasich said that while he has “deep respect” for pro-life groups and their efforts to protect life, he also realizes that the courts have struck down heartbeat bills in two other states, and the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear appeals in those cases. He opined that Ohio would likewise lose if the effort was made law, and doesn’t want taxpayer money going to pay the legal fees of pro-abortion groups.

“The State of Ohio will be the losing party in that lawsuit and, as the losing party, 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,” he outlined. “Furthermore, such a defeat invites additional challenges to Ohio’s strong legal protections for unborn life. Therefore, this veto is in the public interest.”

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However, Kasich, who identifies as pro-life with the exceptions of rape, incest and the life of the mother, agreed with Senate Bill 127, which bans abortions after 20 weeks (five months gestation).

“No person shall purposely perform or induce or purposely attempt to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman when the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child is twenty weeks or greater,” the legislation reads, allowing for abortions in cases where the life of the mother is deemed to be at risk.

“I agree with Ohio Right to Life and other leading, pro-life advocates that SB 127 is the best, most legally sound and sustainable approach to protecting the sanctity of human life,” Kasich said in a statement.

Ohio Right to Life had supported the bill while staying neutral on the Unborn Heartbeat Protection Act, outlining like Kasich that they didn’t believe the measure would hold up in court and that Right to Life supports an “incremental approach” on abortion.

“We believe in an incremental approach,” President Mike Gonidakis told CNN. “When you overreach, sometimes the courts get the last say. There’s a reason why no state has a ‘Heartbeat Bill’ yet.”


As previously reported, in an introductory lecture to his course on obstetrics in 1854, Philadelphia Dr. Hugh Lennox Hodge explained that if a woman were to come to a medical doctor in pursuit of an abortion, “he must, as it were, grasp the conscience of his weak and erring patient and let her know in language not to be misunderstood that she is responsible to her Creator for the life of the being within her.”

“So low, gentleman, is the moral sense of community on this subject. So ignorant are even the greater number of individuals, that even mothers in many instances shrink not at the commission of this crime, but will voluntarily destroy their own progeny, in violation of every natural sentiment, and in opposition to the laws of God and man,” he said.

“The procuring abortion is ‘a base and unmanly act,’” Hodge also said, quoting in part text from a court ruling of his day. “It is a crime against the natural feelings of man, against the welfare and safety of females, against the peace and prosperity of society, against the divine command ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ It is murder.”

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  • Robert

    He should have signed both bills into law. The first bill would have saved many lives while it was being fought.A nd the second is much harder to fight and win .And would have further saved those children.

  • jael2

    National and Ohio Right to Life has blood on it’s hands. Governor Kasich simply did their bidding.
    They much prefer the “incremental approach” even after 43 years of “legalized” murder, rather than the abolishment of abortion. They have no intention of ending the bloodshed, but rather keep up the cycle of regulation.
    Let’s just call it job security.

  • Royce E. Van Blaricome

    Kasich has just shown his true colors and defined his version of what it means to be Christian. He is NOT omniscient. He stepped into the shoes of God by saying, “The State of Ohio will be the losing party in that lawsuit” as there is NO way for him to know that.

    It’s pretty sad to see someone who professes to be Christian literally admit that he’s more concerned about taxpayer dollars that he is the innocent lives of babies. I would surmise that he will not like wearing the millstone.

    • Trilemma

      The bill had zero chance of surviving a lawsuit and it doesn’t take omniscience to know that. As governor, it’s his job to be a good steward of taxpayer’s money.

      • Royce E. Van Blaricome

        Why do folks persist in publicly showing their ignorance? You don’t even see the contradiction in your own black & white words. SMH

        Here let me see if I can help you.

        Know: be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information.
        Suspect: have an idea or impression of the existence, presence, or truth of (something) without certain proof.

        See the difference? Perhaps not. So let me be even more clear. Kasich had NO way of KNOWING what the outcome of a lawsuit would be because he could NOT “observe” the future, “inquire” into who might be on a jury or who the judge might be or what facts might be presented, and he simply just didn’t have the “information” to make that decision. Heck, we don’t even KNOW who the first SCOTUS appointee will be yet.

        So the best he could do is to “suspect” what might happen. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to educate you a little on the English language. Now let me try when it comes to one professing to be a Christian.

        A “Christian” is a FOLLOWER of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are a slave to a new Master. Jesus is now the Decision Maker and they NO longer follow their own ways and own wisdom. SO, as a Christian, his “job” as a governor is to follow Christ and in doing so he will not only be a “good” steward of taxpayer money but he would be the BEST steward.

        I won’t go into all the reasons and ways that would be as it would take much too long and I don’t wanna overwhelm you with information since you have already shown your inability to grasp the simplest of concepts.

        Rather I’ll just leave it with the idea that it’s always best to obey God and leave the rest to Him.

        • Trilemma

          Kasich can know by observing all the other laws that have bee struck down that tried to restrict abortion. This law would have been extremely restrictive so he could know that it would also get struck down in the courts.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Thank you for showing that, once again, you have an inability to understand English and grasp a simple concept even after it is put in black & white plain sight before you.

            Sorry, but despite your continued denials, Kasich could NOT “know”. He could only “suspect”.

          • Trilemma

            If Kasich had signed the bill into law, what do you think the law’s chances of surviving a lawsuit would have been?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Irrelevant question. It’s not up to what I think. Christians are slaves to the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians are to obey God and leave all the consequences to him.

            Pragmatism is following the god looking back at you in the mirror.

          • Trilemma

            If it’s about obeying God, where in the Bible are Christians commanded to try and get the government to pass laws to force non-Christians act like Christians?

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Well, I suspect you don’t really wanna know the answer but for the benefit of any Believers who do, and are perhaps young in the faith, I’ll give a couple of answers off the top of my head.

            Genesis 1, Matt. 5, and Romans 13 would be three.

            Now that I’ve addressed that, let me address the lie hidden within your question. Laws do not “force” anyone to do anything. They are commands for guiding and instructions to follow for the good and welfare of the individual and of all. Laws cannot “force” anyone to do anything.

            Just as God’s Laws are “commands” to guide and instruct all to come into the joy of the Lord that He has prepared for them, so are the laws of Man. And the laws of Man, if one were smart, would mirror the laws of God.

    • The wicked judges of the courts have been striking down these bills, and
      John Kasich has now joined them in their wicked work. They will not be
      bothered by stupid ignorant people with their pathetic pleas for
      justice, because their friend has helped them. How wonderful for the
      wicked judges to have a cowardly friend who fears the people of Ohio
      losing a lawsuit, which is more important than saving innocent life.

  • Trilemma

    Kasich did the right thing. Too bad he lost the nomination.

    • jael2

      Have you ever read a book about “Great Moderates in US History”?
      When you open the cover the pages are completely blank.

  • Amos Moses

    ‘Governor isn’t as committed to life as he professes to be’


    • Royce E. Van Blaricome

      Would that be Dr. James Dobson? The same Dobson that campaigned for and threw his support behind Donald Trump? Who called Trump a Christian and then tried to walk that back by saying he was told that Trump is a Christian by the person (who he wouldn’t name) that supposedly led Trump to Christ (who later came out to be known as Paula White!)?

      If that’s the Dobson you refer to, he may be right on this one but he’s lost all credibility to speak for Christians in my eyes after what he did during the GOP primaries. Btw, if you’re following the Cabinet selections, you’re getting a real good idea of just how “Pro-Life” and “Pro-family” Trump is.

      And, just so you know, yes I was #NeverTrump. Now I’m praying for his success that that he will surrender to Christ and do all that God would have him do as POTUS.