Ohio Governor Vetoes Very Bad 6-Week Abortion Ban, Signs Slightly Less Bad 20-Week Abortion Ban

But Kasich vetoes the fetal heartbeat bill.

<a href="http://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/zak00?mediatype=illustration&facets=%7B%22pageNumber%22:1,%22perPage%22:100,%22abstractType%22:%5B%22photos%22,%22illustrations%22,%22video%22,%22audio%22%5D,%22order%22:%22bestMatch%22,%22filterContent%22:%22false%22,%22portfolioID%22:%5B4176963%5D,%22additionalAudio%22:%22true%22,%22f%22:true%7D"</a>/iStock

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


Update, December 13: Gov. John Kasich vetoed legislation known as the “heartbeat bill” today, which aimed to effectively ban abortions after six weeks of gestation—the point at which a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Instead, Kasich signed into law a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. The new 20-week ban passed through the Ohio legislature a little more than a week after the “heartbeat bill.”

Update, December 6: The Ohio House passed this bill in a 56-39 vote, just hours after it passed Ohio’s Senate. The bill is now headed to Gov. John Kasich’s desk. If he signs it, Ohio will become the third state to pass such a measure; similar bills in Arkansas and North Dakota were struck down by the 8th Circuit Court, and the Supreme Court affirmed those rulings by declining to hear any appeals.

On Tuesday, the Ohio Senate voted to approve a ban on abortions once a heartbeat can be detected, which usually occurs at six weeks into the pregnancy.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that Sen. Kris Jordan (R-Ohio) introduced the bill. “This is just flat-out the right thing to do,” Jordan said. “It affords the most important liberty of all—the opportunity to live.”

The House had already passed the Heartbeat Bill for the third time; its two previous versions failed to pass the Senate. This time, the Heartbeat Bill language was inserted at the last minute, into a measure that revised state child abuse and neglect laws. It passed in the Senate, 21-10.*

But Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni objected because the law will almost certainly be challenged in court and found unconstitutional. Similar laws have been blocked by federal judges in North Dakota and Arkansas because they were inconsistent with Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated when the heartbeat bill had passed the House.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.