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Gov. Kasich vetoes 'heartbeat' abortion bill for the second time

Posted: 3:10 PM, Dec 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-21 15:40:08-05
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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. John Kasich has vetoed for a second time an abortion bill that would have imposed one of the most far-reaching abortion restrictions in the nation.

In a veto message Friday, the outgoing Republican said the so-called heartbeat bill banning the procedure at the first detectable fetal heartbeat is unconstitutional. He said enacting it would prompt a costly and unsuccessful court battle.

Kasich signed a second abortion bill he'd been sent that outlaws dilation and evacuation abortions. That is a common second-trimester abortion method. Similar laws have been rejected by the courts.

The Republican-controlled Legislature returns Thursday to consider a veto override. But it's questionable whether there will be enough votes to keep the heartbeat bill afloat.

Kasich vetoed a similar bill in 2016.

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9:50 a.m.

With a lame duck veto showdown still brewing, Ohio again finds itself on the verge of imposing some of the most far-reaching abortion restrictions in the nation.

It's a position familiar to the politically divided state's abortion-rights activists.

They have watched Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) sign 20 increasingly creative abortion-limiting proposals into law since taking office in 2011, including a so-called 20-week ban that both sides agree is unconstitutional.

Yet the latest bills to reach his desk may be too extreme even for Kasich, a potential 2020 presidential candidate. One bans abortions at the first detectable heartbeat, while the other prohibits an abortion procedure common in the second trimester.