20-Week Abortion Ban Approved by Statehouse, Giving Kasich Two Options

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[image-1]For the second time this week, the Ohio Statehouse has passed a bill that would restrict women’s access to abortion in the state of Ohio. After passing the so-called “Heartbeat Bill” on Dec. 6, legislators yesterday approved a 20-week ban on abortions. Gov. John Kasich has yet to sign either bill, though he has a proven track record of greenlighting abortion restrictions.

The 20-week ban, like the Heartbeat Bill’s six-week ban, would not provide exceptions for cases of rape or incest. While Democratic representatives urged an amendment that would offer those exceptions, Republicans — like Rep. Ron Hood — suggested that children should not be punished even in those extreme cases.

Under the threshold set by Roe v. Wade, abortion procedures are not permitted past the 24-week mark. Amidst a wave of conservative state legislation, 15 states have already passed 20-week bans. The thinking among pro-life activists posits that a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court could be swayed toward that direction, especially if more states like Ohio join the 20-week ban trend.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, meanwhile, believes that a 20-week ban unfairly targets women without the means to travel if they need an abortion after 20 weeks, which rarely occurs.

Anti-abortion crusaders believe the bill to be a political win, with Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis saying in a public statement, "With the passage of this legislation, Ohio has taken a momentous step on the path to overturning Roe. When enacted, this legislation will immediately begin saving hundreds of babies throughout Ohio, and be part of a national movement that will save thousands of lives."

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there were 145 abortions in the state last year that took place after the 21-week mark.

Kasich has the next 10 days to consider these bills.

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