Republican lawmakers were discussing their options Wednesday after Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoed a bill banning abortion at the first detectable fetal heartbeat, the House speaker said.
Some GOP House members believe Kasich’s veto was “a step backward on this important issue,” Brad Miller, spokesman for Republican Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, said in a statement.
“The speaker will be working with caucus members to determine possible options and the outcome will be decided after further consideration,” Miller said.
If they decide to try to override the veto, the vote would start in the House, where the bill originated, and requires a three-fifths majority of the House and Senate to succeed.
Senate members will discuss their options if the House votes to override, Senate Republican spokesman John Fortney said.
The Republican governor opposes abortion, but he vetoed the so-called heartbeat bill Tuesday, saying it would never survive a court challenge and would cost taxpayers thousands in legal fees.
The same day, Kasich signed a bill into law banning abortions after 20 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair Kathy DiCristofaro of Erie County issued a statement:
“Nearly 19,000 concerned citizens signed on to our petition calling on Gov. Kasich to veto two unconstitutional bills that attempt to take away a woman’s ability to make her own personal health care decisions. Hundreds of women protested at the Ohio Statehouse, and Kasich’s phone has been ringing off the hook with calls.
“Kasich’s decision to veto one of the bills is a testament to that outpouring of advocacy — unfortunately, Kasich did not fully heed those voices and reject the second bill, as well. That would have been the real ‘moderate’ and compassionate option.”
DiCristofaro said that there have been 18 “anti-choice measures” signed by Kasich over six years.
She added those decisions “have done nothing to make abortion safer or support a woman’s personal decision-making. They simply restrict the information that a woman can receive, delay her, force her to take tests she doesn’t need, allow people to harass her and force clinics to close.”
The offices of Ohio Rep. Steve Hambley, R-Brunswick, and Ohio Sen. Larry Obhof, R-Montville Township, did not reply to requests from The Gazette on Wednesday for comment on the governor’s decisions.