“No longer will lethal discrimination be tolerated in Ohio. Ohioans with special needs deserve special protection and Gov. Kasich delivered this Christmas season,” Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis said.
House Bill 214 marks the 20th anti-abortion measure backed by Kasich, according to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. About half the abortion clinics in Ohio have also closed during Kasich’s tenure.
In December 2016, Kasich vetoed the heartbeat bill, saying it ran contrary to U.S. Supreme Court rulings and similar legislation had been struck down as unconstitutional in other states. Lawmakers in the Ohio House declined to return to Columbus over the holiday break last year to override the veto.
Kasich also signed into law a ban on abortion after 20 weeks gestation - a month earlier than what is generally considered to be the point of viability of a fetus outside the womb. The ban did not include an exception for the victims of rape or incest.
A total of 20,672 abortions were reported in Ohio in 2016, a 1 percent decline over 2015, according to the Ohio Department of Health. The number of reported abortions has steadily declined over the past two decades in Ohio, state reports show.