Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) signed a bill Tuesday that will ban women from getting an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
At the same time, he also vetoed the so-called "heartbeat bill," which would have prevented any abortions after a fetal heartbeat was detected. For many women, a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, which is before many women know they are pregnant.
Had Kasich signed the bill, Ohio would have the strictest abortion ban in the nation.
Kasich said the "heartbeat bill" would have been struck down based on other federal court rulings and could have invited challenges to current Ohio abortion laws.
"The State of Ohio will be the losing party in that lawsuit and, as the losing party, the State of Ohio will be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to cover the legal fees for the pro-choice activists' lawyers," Kasich said.
The bill which Kasich signed is similar to those in effect in 15 states. The bills are based on the idea that fetuses can feel pain at the 20-week mark.
Opponents of the bill have argued it is scientifically unsound to assert that fetuses can feel pain at 20-weeks.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio tweeted saying that this law puts women who need abortions near the end of their pregnancies at greater risk.
“Bans at different points in pregnancy block a woman from getting the care she needs when she needs it," the ACLU of Ohio said in a press release. "Already, Ohio politicians have passed laws designed to close clinics and delay a woman who has made the decision to end a pregnancy."
GOP lawmakers in states like Texas, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana and Kentucky are also planning to push for new anti-abortion legislation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
20 wk ban is latest in OH’s attempt to close all clinics and make abortion care completely inaccessible for women who need it.— ACLU of Ohio (@acluohio) December 13, 2016
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