New Ohio Governor ramps up Attacks on Abortion Rights

Newly sworn in governor Mike DeWine made a surprise appearance at the Ohio March for Life rally on Tuesday and has announced that he would sign the heartbeat bill, vetoed by Kasich, if it came to his desk. This bill would ban abortion after 6 weeks without exceptions for rape and incest, making it the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation.

On December 21, just weeks before his term ended, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 145 outlawing dilation and evacuation (D&E), a surgical abortion procedure in which the intact fetus is removed from the uterus after dilating the cervix. 3,000 of the 21,000 abortions performed in Ohio in 2015 used D&E, making it the most common second trimester abortion procedure in the state. D&E is also one of the safest abortion procedures. Under the new law, physicians who perform D&E could be charged with a fourth degree felony and serve up to 18 months in prison. There are no exceptions for rape and incest, even though Kasich previously stated he is pro-life with exceptions.

Since taking office in 2011, Kasich signed over 20 anti-abortion bills that closed half the state’s surgical abortion clinics. The Ohio General Assembly sent S.B. 145 and a “heartbeat bill,” to Governor Kasich’s desk. He vetoed the latter bill. This was the second time he has vetoed this type of bill to avoid lawsuits.

While serving as attorney general, now -governor DeWine investigated Planned Parenthood for improperly disposing of fetal remains in the wake of the 2015 Planned Parenthood undercover video controversy. He claimed Planned Parenthood “steam-cooks” fetuses and throws them in landfills. After a five-month-long investigation, DeWine found no wrongdoing on Planned Parenthood’s side, making Ohio the ninth state to find no evidence of Planned Parenthood illegally selling fetal parts.

In the Ohio gubernatorial debate, DeWine pledged to ban abortion. He received an endorsement from Ohio Right to Life.


Media Resources: Dispatch 4/12/18; vox.com 12/15/15; Cleveland 12/21/18; Washington Post 3/25/16; NBC News 7/5/18; fivethirtyeight 12/2/15; Feminist Newswire 12/14/18

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