COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio Gov. John Kasich has vetoed for a second time an abortion bill that would have imposed one of the most far-reaching abortion restrictions in the nation.
In a veto message Friday, the outgoing Republican said the so-called heartbeat bill banning the procedure at the first detectable fetal heartbeat is unconstitutional.
He said enacting it would prompt a costly and unsuccessful court battle, adding in part: “As governor I have worked hard to strengthen Ohio’s protections for the sanctity of human life, and I have a deep respect for my fellow members of the pro-life community and their ongoing efforts in defense of unborn life. However, the central provision of Sub. H.B. 258, that an abortion cannot be performed if a heartbeat has been detected in the unborn child, is contrary to the Supreme Court of the United States’ current rulings on abortion. “
Kasich signed a second abortion bill he’d been sent that outlaws dilation and evacuation abortions. That is a common second-trimester abortion method. Similar laws have been rejected by the courts.
The Republican-controlled Legislature returns Thursday to consider a veto override. But it’s questionable whether there will be enough votes to keep the heartbeat bill afloat.
Kasich vetoed a similar bill in 2016.