Minneapolis, MN – Democratic Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-CD5) took to Twitter earlier this week to criticize Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) for signing a 20-week abortion ban into law last week. Ohio is the 18th state to sign this ban into law.
The “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” bans late-term abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Medical evidence shows that by 20 weeks after fertilization, all the physical structures necessary to experience pain have developed in the unborn child. The “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” could save hundreds of babies’ lives.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich Signs 20-Week Abortion Ban. Awful.https://t.co/JBz0hnzyKH
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) December 13, 2016
Ellison called Kasich’s decision “awful” in a Tweet dated on December 13th.
Alpha News contacted Congressman Ellison’s Washington, D.C. office to get a statement from the congressman regarding his Tweet. A receptionist said there was no one in Ellison’s office at the time who could handle this issue to offer a statement on behalf of the congressman.
Kasich vetoed implementing the “Heartbeat Bill” which would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The “Heartbeat Bill” would be the most extreme anti-abortion law in the country, with doctors facing a possible year in jail if they performed an abortion after detecting a fetal heartbeat.
The Huffington Post reported that Ohio’s Republican-controlled House and Senate passed both the six-week ban and the 20-week ban last week. Kasich, who opposes abortion, was expected to sign the 20-week ban.
The landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade, protects the right to have an abortion up until the time that the fetus is viable outside the womb, which is around 22 to 24 weeks of gestation. Kasich said in a statement that the 20-week restriction on abortions is the “best, most legally sound and sustainable approach to protecting the sanctity of human life.”
Abortion rights advocates are concerned that the 20-week ban could actually be a vehicle to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Pro-choice supporters have been protesting Ohio’s abortion restriction by placing coat hangers on the fence of the Statehouse as a reminder to lawmakers of the time when women used dangerous methods to terminate their pregnancies.
A spokeswoman for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Dawn Laguens, told The Huffington Post that the 20-week ban is “just another shameful attempt by John Kasich to make abortion illegal.”
She said that Kasich is on a mission to make abortion illegal in Ohio and that he’s intent on using smoke and mirrors and backdoor politics to do it. “He may hope that by vetoing a six-week ban, which would have virtually banned abortion with almost no exceptions – he comes off as a moderate,” she said. “But Ohio women see right through this and reject this extreme agenda.” Laguens said that the ban will force women to travel long distances and cross state lines in order to obtain a safe legal abortion, which she said is a barrier that many women simply can not afford.
The 18 states with the 20-week abortion law include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.