Republicans Just Passed A Law Limiting A Woman’s Constitutional Right To An Abortion | THE POLITICUS

Republicans Just Passed A Law Limiting A Woman’s Constitutional Right To An Abortion

Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoed the widely criticized Heartbeat Bill on Tuesday, which would have prevented a woman from getting an abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. However, at the same time, he that still severely restricts women’s rights by banning abortions after 20 weeks, with the only exception being the mother’s health.

If the so-called Heartbeat Bill had become law, once a fetus’ heartbeat could be detected abortion would no longer be an option. The heartbeat can usually be picked up at around six weeks, which is before many women even know they are pregnant.

If Kasich had signed the bill, it would have been the most restrictive abortion law in the entire country. The second-term governor said that he was concerned that the measure was unconstitutional. Identical laws in two other states have been struck down by federal courts. In a statement, Kasich 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 of the pro-choice activists’ lawyers. Furthermore, such a defeat invites additional challenges to Ohio’s strong legal protections for unborn life.”

But today was hardly a win for women’s rights in Ohio. While he did veto the Heartbeat Bill, he also signed Senate Bill 127. This piece of legislation, which is supported by Ohio Right to Life, prohibits termination of “a human pregnancy of a pain-capable unborn child.”

: “The new abortion regulations, which will take effect in 90 days, will make it a fourth-degree felony for a physician to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy except to save a mother’s life. The felony is punishable by up to 18 months in prison. A conviction also would result in the loss of a physician’s medical license.”

Kellie Copeland, director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director criticized the governor’s move.

John Kasich is treating women’s health care like a game. He thinks that by vetoing one abortion ban Ohioans will not notice that he has signed another,” she said in a statement.

“The 20-week abortion ban callously disregards the unique circumstances that surround a woman’s pregnancy. Once a woman has made the decision to end a pregnancy, she needs access to safe and legal abortion care in her community. Kasich’s actions today will fall hardest on low-income women, women of color, and young women.”

Iris Harvey, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, issued a similar statement slamming Republicans who “are intent on taking that right [to choose] away.”

“In his six years as governor, Kasich has systematically and incrementally enacted law after law to ban abortion in the state. The 20-week abortion ban is yet another example,” Harvey wrote. “After the passage of the 6-week and 20-week abortion bans, dozens of activists took to the streets — showing up at John Kasich’s house, his office, and all over the Statehouse. Thousands more made phone calls, sent letters, and refused to be silent. That won’t stop. Women are tired of politicians telling us what to do with our bodies.”

Only 13 other states have a 20-week abortion ban and in two states, federal courts have found the laws to be unconstitutional. But outgoing Senate President Keith Faber noted that with Donald Trump making Supreme Court appointments, the tide may be turning for laws that restrict a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body.


Featured image via J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

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