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Kasich Signs 20-Week Abortion Ban, But Vetoes the More Controversial Heartbeat Bill

Montage of Statehouse protests
The less strict of the two abortion bans passed during the lame duck session has been signed.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed one controversial abortion ban and vetoed another one.

Kasich used his line-item veto power and struck the so-called “Heartbeat Bill," which would ban abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat could be detected. But he left the child abuse bill the ban was attached to intact.

If the heartbeat bill had become law, it would have been the strictest abortion ban in the country -- banning abortion in as little as six weeks, before many women know they're pregnant. Many critics  said  it was unconstitutional.

But Kasich signed another ban that would outlaw abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy.

In a written statement, Kasich said he agreed with Ohio Right to Life that the 20-week ban was the best, most legally sound and sustainable approach to protecting the sanctity of human life. The heartbeat bill could go back to Ohio lawmakers since they have not formally adjourned for the session, but there’s no word yet on whether they will come back to try to override his veto. 

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.