Focus on the Family founder James Dobson issued harsh criticism of Ohio Governor John Kasich for his rejection of a bill that would have banned abortions when an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detected.
“I join with millions of Evangelicals and Catholics in condemning Gov. John Kasich’s veto of the bill. This was a cowardly and shameful action,” Dobson wrote on his website.
Kasich vetoed the “heartbeat bill” earlier this week citing concerns that it might be overturned in court. The governor opted to sign the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act into law, which would ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
“Signing the bill would have been the constitutionally correct thing to do; it would have also been morally correct to do. Governor Kasich has sent a message to voters in Ohio–and across the nation–that the Governor isn’t as committed to life as he professes to be,” Dobson continued.
Dobson, who hosts a radio program called “Family Talk,” urged his audience to contact Kasich directly to express their outrage over his veto of the heartbeat bill.
Meanwhile, the pro-life group Ohio Right to Life has stated that they support the governor’s decision to bypass the bill. The group asserted that the current composition of pro-abortion justices in the Supreme Court required Kasich to hold back in signing the controversial measure.
The group also pointed out that the Court will still have a pro-abortion majority even if the next president fills the current vacancy.
Sen. Bill Coley, one of the Republicans who voted against the bill, expressed his concern that the state will have to pay millions of taxpayer money on attorney’s fees if the bill is challenged in court.
“My biggest fear is that some of the great work that we have done in protecting life here in Ohio will be jeopardized,” said Coley.
North Dakota passed a similar measure, but it was struck down by a federal appeals court in 2014. The proposal is considered to be controversial, even among pro-life advocates, because they believe that it would be overturned, and the state will have to pay the legal fees of abortion activists.