The issue is expected to return next year after the new General Assembly and Gov.-elect Mike DeWine takes office.
Earlier story from Dec. 21: Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Friday took action on two controversial abortion bills, vetoing a bill that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected and signing a measure to prohibit aborting pregnancies using a common surgical procedure.
Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Columbus next week to consider overriding vetoes and finish other matters. An override requires 20 votes in the Senate and 60 in the House — high thresholds that may not be met.
The heartbeat bill would make it a felony for physicians or anyone to perform abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is usually around six weeks gestation before some women even know they’re pregnant. House Bill 258, which passed 60-35, allows for abortions if there is a medical emergency but doesn’t provide exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
Related: 2016: Kasich vetoes ‘heartbeat bill,’ signs 20-week abortion ban
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said in a written statement: “John Kasich is reckless and irresponsible. He has now enacted 21 attacks on abortion access and reproductive health care funding during his eight years as governor. He has ignored pleas from Ohio’s medical community that politicians should not interfere with the doctor-patient relationship or block access to abortion care in our state… Kasich’s actions today are his worst yet.”
In his veto message, Kasich said HB258 would likely be struck down as unconstitutional and Ohio would be stuck paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for the other side.
The governor signed into law Senate Bill 145, which would outlaw abortions performed by dilation and evacuation, a procedure commonly used to terminate pregnancies between 13 and 24 weeks gestation. In 2017, 3,441 D&E abortions were performed in Ohio, according to state records.
Related: Ohio sees uptick in abortions in 2017, data show
Two years ago during the lame-duck session, Kasich vetoed a similar heartbeat bill and signed into law a ban on abortions after 20 weeks gestation.