How the fight against abortion will be fought for the next 2-4 years can be shaped by one man: Ohio Governor John Kasich. He has the opportunity to sign the “Heartbeat Bill” which would prohibit doctors from committing abortions once a heartbeat is detected. This happens as early as six weeks.
The Governor has expressed some concerns. While he’s pro-life, his views lean towards the moderate end of the spectrum. There are controversial pieces to the bill, most notably the prohibition on abortions even in cases of rape or incest. Kasich has stated that he believes in exceptions for abortions.
There’s another factor that’s being considered: court challenges. If he signs the bill, it will turn Ohio into ground zero for abortion activists. There will be more protests and legal challenges filed in the state than it’s ever seen before. Kasich, considered a pragmatic leader, will use this as the reason to veto the bill if he does. This would be a mistake. It’s time for challenges. It’s time to test the court system to see what it will take to fight this battle in other states. Pragmatic conservatives will say that we need to stack the courts first, but this would be a mistake. Because legal challenges take so long to prepare and moving up the court system is a tedious process, we must start now. If we wait, it’s possible for the courts to already be reversed if Donald Trump loses in 2020.
Assuming that Trump keeps to his promise of nominating a staunchly pro-life Supreme Court justice, this may be the best time in modern history to make an impact in the war on abortion. By the time the Heartbeat Bill reaches the Supreme Court, Trump’s nominee should be confirmed.
By signing the bill, Kasich will stretch the limits and encourage other states to prepare to head in the same direction. They will all be watching to see how it plays out in the courts, but being the “first on the dance floor” gives Ohio the opportunity to set the agenda. Currently, most states have various restrictions on abortion prohibition ranging from “viability” or the third trimester up to 24 weeks. By pushing the limit all the way up to heartbeat status, around 6 or 7 weeks from conception, other states will be able to get their own similar legislation ready.
I’ve never been a big fan of John Kasich, but his stalwart opposition to Donald Trump demonstrated that he’s willing to stick to his guns. This is a time when he needs his guns pointed in the right direction. It will give him pause from a moral perspective to stretch the limits so far and to include rape or incest. It will seem like the impractical move for a practical politician to make. He must push all of those urges aside and act boldly now for the sake of the fight against abortion. Blinking now will allow the opportunity to pass. Millions of future Americans can be saved by a signature. Sign the bill, Governor.