Gov. John Kasich Signs 20-Week Abortion Ban, Vetoes 'Heartbeat Bill'

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The state of Ohio will no longer permit abortion procedures after the 20-week point in a pregnancy, as Gov. John Kasich signs the latest restriction into law.

Physicians found guilty of performing abortion procedures after 20 weeks of pregnancy will be charged with a fourth-degree felony (unless the procedure is done to save the mother's life). Exceptions for rape and incest will not be made under this law. (The 20-week ban will go into effect in 90 days.)

Current state law permitted abortion procedures up to the 24-week point.

Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis noted last week that this new law will further embolden activists and politicians en route to modifying federal policy guided by Roe v. Wade. Today, Gonidakis doubled down: “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."

Kasich, with the power of his signature, signaled support for that mission.

“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 public statement today.

The governor, in approving this law, took a line-item pass on the legislature's "Heartbeat Bill" (which was folded into a separate bill), which would have prohibited abortion procedures after the six-week mark. Most legal observers acknowledged that such a law would have been ruled unconstitutional by higher courts.

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