Kasich Vetoes ‘Heartbeat Bill,’ Signs 20-Week Abortion Ban

Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday vetoed what many considered to be the strictest abortion law in the nation. The so-called “heartbeat bill,” which passed through the state legislature last week, would have outlawed abortion procedures once a fetal heartbeat can be detected—at roughly six weeks into a pregnancy. Similar laws proposed in other states had failed over fear of being ruled unconstitutional in the federal courts. Kasich had previously express concerns about the constitutionality of the “heartbeat bill,” and instead signed into law a separate bill that outlaws abortion after 20 weeks. Current Ohio law outlaws abortions after 24 weeks, with exceptions for the mother’s life and in cases of rape and incest. The Columbus Dispatch reported that the 20-week ban is Kasich’s 18th restriction on abortion rights during his two gubernatorial terms.