Gov. John Kasich, who leaves office Jan. 13, vetoed a similar bill in December 2016 and lawmakers did not return to Columbus to override the veto. The same thing could happen to House Bill 258. Kasich has indicated he’ll veto it.
Depending on when the bill were to reach Kasich’s desk and when he might exercise his veto power, it might push a veto override vote to the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Lawmakers are scheduled to wrap up the two-year legislative session on Dec. 19.
Getting 60 House members and 20 senators to return to Columbus for a veto override during the holidays could prove difficult, especially since Governor-elect Mike DeWine has said he would sign a heartbeat bill.
State Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, said the strategy of passing the bill now or early next year won’t make a significant difference since the fetal heartbeat bill would likely take years to wind its way through a court challenge.
Another bill being considered
The Ohio House is considering another abortion bill that Ohio Right to Life named as its top priority. Senate Bill 145 would ban dilation and evacuation, a procedure commonly used in abortions performed between 13 and 24 weeks gestation. In 2015, nearly 3,000 D&E abortions were performed in Ohio, according to state records.
The House Criminal Justice Committee voted 5-3 along party lines in favor of sending the bill to the floor for a vote.
Related: Common abortion surgical procedure under fire in Ohio
During Republican Kasich’s eight years as governor, he has signed more than a dozen abortion restrictions, including:
* a bill that makes it a crime for doctors to perform abortions if the woman wants to terminate because the fetus may have Down syndrome;
* a ban on abortions after 20 weeks gestation; a mandate that clinics have transfer agreements with local hospitals in case of emergencies;
* stricter standards for juveniles seeking a judicial bypass instead of parental consent to terminate their pregnancies;
* and a prohibition on public hospitals performing abortions or holding transfer agreements.