Ohio governor gets 20-week abortion ban, heartbeat bills


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two differing abortion bans have arrived at Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s (KAY’-sikz) desk, and lobbying is intensifying for and against the measures.

One bill prohibits abortions after the 20-week mark, when proponents assert a fetus can feel pain. The second bars the procedure at the first detectable heartbeat, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

The anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life has asked the Republican governor to sign the 20-week ban and not to sign the heartbeat bill provisions. It calls a “pain-capable” ban the only “viable way forward” to sparking the legal challenge that could end abortion nationally.

The 16,000-member Ohio State Medical Association asked Kasich to veto both bills. The physicians’ group says it doesn’t take positions on abortion but opposes criminalizing a procedure that’s part of standard care.