Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoed an extremist measure on Tuesday that would have barred women in his state from getting a safe, legal abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which usually happens about six weeks into a pregnancy.
The “pro-life” governor had this to say after his veto:
— Andy Chow (@andy_chow) December 13, 2016
While the governor’s decision is welcome news for those who were increasingly worried that he would approve the measure and enact the most restrictive abortion law in the country, it’s still important to recognize that, at the very same moment, he approved a different, still unconstitutional provision that prohibits abortions after 20 weeks – under all circumstances.
As Planned Parenthood notes, not only are 20-week bans unpopular and unconstitutional, but they also target women who are in dire circumstances. After all, when women need abortions that late into a pregnancy, it’s often out of medical necessity.
According to Planned Parenthood:
Nearly 99 percent of abortions occur before 21 weeks, but when they are needed later in pregnancy, it’s often in very complex circumstances — the kind of situations where a woman and her doctor need every medical option available. Abortions later in pregnancy may involve rare, severe fetal anomalies and serious risks to the woman’s health.
As the group’s executive vice president, Dawn Laguens, said on Thursday, “The 20-week ban will force women to travel long distances and cross state lines in order to access safe, legal abortion — a barrier that many women simply cannot afford. This is just another shameful attempt by John Kasich to make abortion illegal.”
The Ohio governor may have made the right decision on the heartbeat provision, but it does not excuse his approval of another unconstitutional ban. He simply traded one extremist, anti-choice measure for another.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.