Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill on Tuesday banning abortions after 20 weeks, but vetoed a separate measure banning the procedure after the detection of a heartbeat, which occurs around 6 weeks.
Even though lawmakers in the state knew the heartbeat bill would likely face legal challenges, they felt encouraged to pass it after Trump’s’ win and the forthcoming appointment of a conservative Supreme Court justice.
But that wasn’t enough to convince Kasich, who believed it would’ve been struck down based on how similar measures have fared in other states. Ultimately, it wasn’t worth wasting taxpayer money over it, he said.
"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," Kasich said. “Furthermore, such a defeat invites additional challenges to Ohio's strong legal protections for unborn life.”
"Therefore, this veto is in the public interest," he added.
But Kasich did sign off on the 20-week abortion ban, which 15 other states also have.
That move was praised by anti-abortion activists.
“By signing S.B. 127, the 20-week ban, Governor Kasich will save hundreds of unborn lives each year and he positioned the state of Ohio to directly challenge Roe v. Wade. The 20-week ban was nationally designed to be the vehicle to end abortion in America. It challenges the current national abortion standard and properly moves the legal needle from viability to the baby’s ability to feel pain,” Ohio Right to Life said in a statement. “Given the current make-up of the United States Supreme Court, Governor Kasich got it right by embracing the strategic incremental approach to ending abortion.”