Columbus — On Monday, Ohio Governor John Kasich publicly pledged to veto a six-week abortion ban. While he has blocked this legislation on a past occasion, this promise carries little weight in 2018, and pro-choice advocates are calling on him for actually meaningful action.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “A veto doesn’t mean anything if it is overruled. John Kasich has the worst record of signing anti-abortion restrictions of any other governor in Ohio’s history. He has used this exact bill as a smokescreen before to pass other unconstitutional bans. We’re not interested in empty veto pledges if he’s not willing to try to stop the damage this bill would do. ”

“A veto isn’t enough. If Kasich wants to show he rejects extreme bans, he needs to keep the bill off his desk to begin with. He’s has eight years as governor to build relationships with legislators within his own party. If this bill becomes law, it will be a huge sign that he is a failure as a leader.”

In 2016, Gov. Kasich vetoed H.B. 493, saying the six-week abortion ban in the bill was unacceptable because it lacked exceptions for rape or incest. At the same time he vetoed the 6-week ban, however, he signed a 20-week abortion ban that lacked those exceptions.

The unconstitutional six-week abortion ban would block access to safe and legal abortion before most women even know they’re pregnant. There are no exceptions in the bill for rape, incest, or to protect the health of the woman. This bill would criminalize doctors who perform abortion procedures.

Six-week ban history in Ohio

2011-2012
H.B. 125 – Six-week abortion ban bill passed the House, but was not considered in Senate. Outgoing Senate President Tom Niehaus told reporters he believed abortion providers were offering a necessary service and would not move the bill forward.

2013-2014
Six-week abortion ban bill proponents waged negative campaign attacking Republican leadership.
H.B. 248 – Bill was voted on in the House and failed.

2015-2016
Six-week abortion ban bill proponents attempted to unseat Senator Larry Obhof in Republican primary.
H.B. 493 – Abortion ban amended into other legislation and passed in House and Senate. Vetoed by Gov. John Kasich after he signed a separate 20-week abortion ban. Kasich later stated he would not support bill lacking exceptions for rape or incest, although the 20-week ban did not have exceptions, either.

2017-2018
Senator Larry Obhof named president of the Ohio Senate.
Six-week abortion ban bill proponents met with Vice President Mike Pence at White House
H.B. 258 – Awaiting House vote. Not yet considered in the Senate.

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