Ohio Gov. John Kasich Signs Terrible Abortion Bill, Vetoes More Draconian Version, Hooray?

The 'moderate' one

Let's start with the good news, such as it is: Remember that nice insane Christianist lady who pushed a bill through the Ohio legislature to ban all abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is often the case by six weeks, before most women even know they're pregnant? So the good-ish news is that Ohio Gov. John "Not So Much A Moderate" Kasich has vetoed that awful bill on the grounds that it would certainly not pass constitutional muster, at least not until after Donald Trump has appointed another twenty Supreme Court justices or so. Also good news: It doesn't appear the Ohio Lege has the votes to override. That said, Kasich also signed a bill that's only marginally less awful, banning all abortions after 20 weeks, because didn't we mention that he is an anti-abortion extremist who has gutted Planned Parenthood funding and even barred rape crisis counselors from mentioning "abortion" as a thing rape victims can look into, because he is a horrible excuse for a human being?

So he vetoed an extreme bill that was virtually guaranteed to be overturned in the courts, but signed another extreme bill that will drastically restrict abortion. That is not what you call "moderate," in case anyone was confused on the matter. Previously, Ohio's law banned abortions after 24 weeks; the new 20-week law Kasich signed does not include any exception for rape or incest, but does allow abortions in cases where a pregnancy causes a threat to a woman's life. Oh, look, there he goes being all moderate and compromisey again!

Kasich's signature makes Ohio the 18th in the country to pass an abortion ban at 20 weeks, although two of those laws, in Idaho and Arizona, were struck down in federal courts. And how about Ohio's? Oh, it's definitely going to be challenged:

Barring court action, the law will take effect in 90 days, but a legal challenge appears inevitable. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, which said on Tuesday that the measure was “unconstitutional and will harm women and families,” was expected to file a suit to block it.

“There’s no way we’re going to take this lying down,” said Gabriel Mann, a spokesman for Naral Pro-Choice Ohio, an advocacy group. “It’s too horrific of a restriction for women who are facing medical complications and situations where they need an abortion around that 20-week period.”

Mann noted that of the 20,000 abortions performed in Ohio annually, fewer than 2 percent occur after 20 weeks; the state doesn't keep statistics on why women choose to have abortion, but most women seeking abortions that late do so because of severe fetal defects -- which can generally only be tested for shortly before that 20-week deadline. Add in the higher costs of a late-term abortion and the difficulty of finding providers who even perform them, and 20-week abortion bans are guaranteeing more fetal health complications, and of course forcing more women to carry risky pregnancies to term. If they're really lucky, the baby-killing sluts might live in a town where the only hospitals are Catholic, where they might get the chance to die. Pretty much no woman carries a pregnancy to 20 weeks and decides they'll just skip down to the abortionplex on a lark.

So John Kasich only signed a terrible abortion law that will reduce women's choices and put their lives at risk, but he didn't sign the far worse bill that would have been immediately overturned. You'll forgive us if we refuse to even grant him a sarcastic hooray.

[NYT / Cleveland.com / Slate]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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