Ohio Governor John Kasich has vetoed what could have been one of the most strict abortion bans in the country.
Earlier this month, Ohio lawmakers passed the "Heartbeat Bill." This bill would have banned abortions from the moment a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which usually falls within six weeks after conception. This would have prohibited abortions even in rape or incest cases.
"Similar legislation enacted in two other states has twice been declared unconstitutional by federal judges and the Supreme Court declined to review those decisions," stated Kasich after his veto.
The governor also explained that this particular bill would have been costly for the state in order to challenge the current abortion prohibitions.
Kasich did, however, tighten abortion laws in his state by signing a bill that prevents abortions after 20 weeks. Some claim that, at the 20-week point, fetuses can feel pain. Both bills did include an exception for abortions in the case of saving the life of a pregnant woman at risk.
This move by Ohio GOP members comes after inspiration from the election of President-elect Donald Trump. Many GOP lawmakers are pushing for new anti-abortion legislation. Americans United for Life, a national anti-abortion group, is supporting this move by lawmakers. A report that claims many abortion clinics are violating state health and safety standards has also been released.
Trump has pledged support of legislation that bans most abortions after 20 weeks and halts federal funding for Planned Parenthood as long as the organization continues performing abortions. Under the Trump administration, Republican leaders like Ohio Senate President Keith Faber see a chance to overturn Roe v. Wade.
"A new president, new Supreme Court justice appointees change the dynamic," said Faber.
However, this does not officially mean it's the last we'll see of the "Heartbeat Bill." A three-fifths majority vote by Ohio lawmakers can undo the veto by the governor.