Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson has some strong words against Ohio Gov. John Kasich for not approving the Heartbeat Bill.
While commending the Ohio lawmakers for passing the controversial bill, Dobson condemned the governor for vetoing it, saying the move was “shameful” and an act of “cowardice.” He said approving the bill would have been the morally correct choice.
"I want to congratulate the Ohio legislature for passing the 'Heartbeat Bill' and I commend their commitment to protecting the constitutional rights of the unborn,” Dobson said in a statement.
“Now, I join with millions of Evangelicals and Catholics in condemning Gov. John Kasich's veto of the bill. This was a cowardly and shameful action. Signing the bill would have been the constitutionally correct thing to do; it would have also been morally correct to do,” he added.
By vetoing the bill, Kasich communicated to the nation that his commitment to upholding the right to life was not as strong as he claimed, Dobson said.
The Heartbeat Bill was actually an amendment to an unrelated bill, House Bill 493, which deals with medical reporting of child abuse. The Heartbeat Bill bans abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, which could be as early as four weeks of gestation. It would have been the most restrictive abortion law in the U.S.
The bill was quickly passed at the Senate and the House last week. While hopes were high that Kasich would sign it, the opposite happened, and the bill was vetoed.
Kasich cited avoiding the possibility of an expensive lawsuit, which the state would likely lose, as his reason for not approving the bill.
However, he approved a less restrictive but still unconstitutional 20-week abortion ban, leaving pro-abortion groups to wonder if the Heartbeat Bill was only a distraction to keep their eyes focused elsewhere. Pro-choice advocates are also thinking if this move could be a strategy to introduce more abortion restriction laws in the near future.
For Dobson, Ohio missed an opportunity to move forward in protecting the life of the unborn.
“For decades, we have fought for the rights of the unborn,” he said. “We have not grown weary, we have never lost faith, and now there is a growing movement to finally reject the barbarism of abortion and to fully protect the rights of the unborn.”
Dobson said the Heartbeat Bill could have been a significant step in the fight against abortion. He urged others not to remain silent regarding Kasich’s action and to put in more effort in fighting for unborn children.
“This bill was an important step in that direction, and we mustn't be silent in response to the Governor's action,” he said. “This is the time to redouble all of our efforts nationwide until we will finally, fully win our fight for the rights of our nation's unborn children.”