Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine answers questions about ‘Heartbeat’ abortion law

On Thursday, our reporters Lynn Hulsey and Laura Bischoff had an opportunity to ask Gov. Mike DeWine about the "Heartbeat" abortion bill he just signed.

Here’s his answers to their questions:

Q: Both sides say it’ll face a challenge in federal court. Do you think it’ll withstand a court challenge? If so, why?

DeWine: "It will ultimately, if it's sustained it would be sustained by the Supreme Court. Without change in a Supreme Court we'll have a hard time in sustaining this because they've (lower courts) got to follow the precedent." Meaning the lower courts have to follow the precedent.

Q: Will the lower courts follow the precedent? 

DeWine: "Yes. I think they will follow precedent."

Any legal scholar is going to say “there’s not an expectation that this law will be upheld in the lower courts. The real issue is what happens when it gets to the United States Supreme Court, because they have the ability to make that decision and sustain the law if they want to. Lower courts don’t have that flexibility. They have to follow precedent. But the Supreme Court sets precedent.”

“It’s important for everyone to have the right expectations and for those of us who hope that this law is upheld to fully to understand that we are not going to see that in the lower courts. It ultimately is for the Supreme Court to decide.”

Credit: Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch via AP

Credit: Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch via AP

Q: There is no exemption for cases of rape or incest. What would you say to women impregnated through sexual assault who want to terminate their pregnancies?

DeWine: (At news conference) "I answered that and what I said was this is an administration that is doing everything it can. I'm doing everything I can in my budget to supply support and help to women who are pregnant and we're doing that by a number of different programs. And I realize that women are in difficult circumstances as far as poverty and other reasons. We are doing everything we can to help those women."

Q. It’s likely to cost Ohio taxpayers to defend this in court. Why not let other states bear that expense?

DeWine: "We think it's the right thing to do."

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