Pro-Life Groups Call for Override of Gov. Kasich’s Veto of ‘Heartbeat Bill’

Pro-life groups in Ohio are urging the Ohio Senate and House to override Gov. John Kasich’s veto of the "heartbeat bill" that would have banned abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich answers questions from reporters following a tour of the Red Hook Brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire July 13, 2015.
Reuters/Brian Snyder

Pro-life groups in Ohio are urging the Ohio Senate and House to override Gov. John Kasich’s veto of the "heartbeat bill" that would have banned abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The coalition said they were “deeply disappointed” that Kasich did not support the bill.

Earlier this week, Kasich signed a law banning abortion starting at 20 weeks of gestation called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act but vetoed the “heartbeat bill.”

Pro-life groups wrote a letter addressed to Ohio Speaker of the House asking him to call the legislators for a session in order to override Kasich’s decision.

"We speak today, firmly, as one united voice," the letter said, according to LifeSiteNews. "We are deeply disappointed in Governor Kasich's veto of the will of the people expressed in the Ohio House and Senate."

"We agree with Ohio Senate President Keith Faber who believes with a new President and Supreme Court Justices, the bill has a better chance than it did before," the letter further said. "Ohio resides in the common-sense 6th District Court of Appeals, and a number of highly respected legal scholars believe that the Heartbeat Bill will fare no worse than the Pain-Capable Bill just signed by the Governor."

The organizations that signed the letter were Fostoria/Bascom Life, Northeast Ohio Value Voters, HELP Pro Life Apostolate, What's Left/What's Right Ministries and the Right to Life Societies of Cleveland, Clermont County, Toledo, Greater Cincinnati, DaytonLake County, Geauga County, Tiffin, Hancock County, Warren County and Lima and Allen County.

Molly Smith, president of Cleveland Right to Life, said the move is a “call to action.”

"If this bill can save 20,000 babies a year, it's worth fighting for," she said.

Ohio Right to Life was not included in the coalition because it did not support the “heartbeat bill.” On the contrary, it urged the governor to support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortion at a time when the child can already feel pain.

The legislation, according to the group, challenges the 24-week abortion ban stipulated in Roe v. Wade.

Ohio Right to Life recommended that Kasich drop the ‘heartbeat bill’ because “that approach in other states has been declared unconstitutional twice before” and the Supreme Court did not challenge the decisions.

“If our collective goal is to overturn Roe v. Wade, then the pain capable approach should become Ohio Law,” the group urged Kasich.

Kasich shared the same sentiment as Ohio Right to Life.

"I agree with Ohio Right to Life and other leading pro-life advocates that S.B. 127 is the best, most legally sound and sustainable approach to protecting the sanctity of human life,” he said.

He also said he decided against the “heartbeat bill” to avoid a costly lawsuit against abortion rights groups that would be funded by tax dollars and which the state would most likely lose.

The pro-life coalition said this should not be a problem because “several highly respected constitutional attorneys have agreed to work pro-bono in its defense.”

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