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Ohio Legislature Fails to Override Veto of Heartbeat Bill

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Ohio Legislature Fails to Override Veto of Heartbeat BillPhoto via Women Have Options -- Ohio.
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On Thursday, the Ohio legislature tried and failed to override Governor John Kasich’s veto of HB 258, or the “Heartbeat Bill.” Kasich vetoed the bill, a ban on abortions after six weeks, on Saturday, Dec. 22.

The Ohio House voted 60-28 to override the veto on Thursday morning. It then went directly to the Senate, ultimately failing by one vote.

“Access to safe and legal abortion care is a critical component of our health care system,” said Kellie Copeland, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director, in a statement. “This unconstitutional abortion ban wasn’t supported by the people — seven in 10 Ohioans want access to abortion care to be protected.”

The Heartbeat Bill was one of two abortion bans that hit Kasich’s desk this month. SB 145, the abortion method ban, outlaws the use of the most common abortion procedure in a person’s second trimester (13 to 24 weeks), dilation and evacuation (D&E). The majority (92 percent) of abortions occur during the first trimester. Later abortions are typically performed using the D&E method, because it’s quicker and doesn’t require hospitalization or the physical and emotional toll of labor. Kasich signed the ban on D&E into law on Dec. 22, forcing those seeking an abortion in their second trimester to under go the induction method, which uses drugs to induce labor.

“Our partnership with the pro-life legislature and our pro-life Governor has resulted in 21 life-saving initiatives being enacted during the past eight years,” Ohio Right to Life said in a statement. “Last week, our Governor signed into law S.B. 145, the Dismemberment Abortion Ban. This legislation was part of the national strategy to not only end such a gruesome procedure, but set in motion yet another attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade and save millions of unborn babies.”

SB 145 is the 21st restriction on reproductive healthcare that Kasich has signed since he took office eight years ago. In that time, half of Ohio’s abortion clinics have shuttered, leaving seven open statewide.

“Today’s victory is small and brief, however,” Copeland’s statement continued. “Instead of respecting women’s personal decision making, anti-choice members of the Ohio House and Senate passed an equally egregious ban on the most common abortion method used after 12 weeks … Lawmakers must stop taking orders from a minority of vocal extremists who want to impose their narrow ideological agenda upon us all.”

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