John Kasich on Abortion

Republican Governor; previously Representative (OH-12); 2000 & 2016 candidate for President


Vetoed "fetal heartbeat" law (abortion ban after 6 weeks)

Republican lawmakers in Kentucky have filed bills which would halt abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks into a pregnancy. That's often before a woman even realizes she is pregnant and would amount to an unconstitutional ban on abortions in Kentucky, said the deputy director of the ACLU..

A court struck down such a bill in North Dakota. That leaves Iowa as the only state with a fetal heartbeat bill enacted into law and that remains suspended by a pending court challenge, said the ACLU spokesperson. Should Kentucky enact such a law, the ACLU is ready to challenge it.

Several states have expressed interest in or enacted similar "fetal heartbeat" laws, most recently in Ohio where the Republican-controlled legislature approved such a law last year, only to have it vetoed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Ohio's legislature taking office in a few days will likely pass a fetal heartbeat bill in 2019--and incoming Gov. Mike DeWine has said he will sign it.

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal on Ohio voting records , Jan 9, 2019

Ban abortions after 20 weeks; but no "heartbeat bill"

Gov. John Kasich signed a bill imposing a 20-week abortion ban while vetoing stricter provisions in a separate measure that would have barred the procedure at the first detectable fetal heartbeat. The so-called heartbeat bill would have prohibited most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

Kasich chose instead to sign off on a 20-week ban similar to those now in effect in 15 states and blocked from enforcement in two others. The measures are based on the assertion that fetuses can feel pain then, which opponents characterize as scientifically unsound. Ohio lawmakers rejected a Democratic amendment that would have added exceptions for rape and incest.

Kasich said the heartbeat provision would have been struck down: "The State of Ohio will be the losing party in that lawsuit and will be forced to cover the legal fees for the pro-choice activists' lawyers," Kasich said. "Therefore, this veto is in the public interest."

Source: Chicago Tribune on Ohio legislative voting records , Dec 13, 2016

Require abortion clinics to have nearby hospital & doctor

In Oklahoma this week, the state Supreme Court threw out a law requiring abortion clinics to have doctors who have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of their facility. The court ruled that measure, which requires doctors with admitting privileges to be present for abortions, violates both the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions. Republican Gov. Mary Fallin signed it into law in 2014, but courts had blocked it from going into effect. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year struck down a similar provision in Texas.

In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich signed a bill imposing a 20-week abortion ban based on the assertion that fetuses can feel pain then, which opponents characterize as scientifically unsound. Kasich vetoed stricter provisions in a so-called heartbeat bill that would have prohibited most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy, noting that the heartbeat provision would have been struck down.

Source: Chicago Tribune on Ohio legislative voting records , Dec 13, 2016

Cut $1.3M in funding for discredited Planned Parenthood

Kasich claimed that he would find it "absolutely unacceptable" for women to be unable to access reproductive health care: "Women's health is very important to us, and we're not cutting the funding," Kasich said when an audience member prompted him to speak about the services Planned Parenthood offers beyond abortion. "But that's an organization that has largely discredited itself, but that doesn't mean we can have you not being able to get the help that you need as a woman. I mean that would be absolutely unacceptable, and we're not going to do that in our state.

But when Kasich signed a bill in February cutting $1.3 million in funding to Planned Parenthood, he did not cut funds for abortion care; those services are not covered by state money. Instead, he slashed funds for the organization's sexually transmitted infection testing, and mother and newborn care, and anti-domestic violence programs.

Source: Rewire.com FactCheck on 2018 Ohio Gubernatorial race , Mar 30, 2016

Defund Planned Parenthood, like we are trying in Ohio

Q [to Kasich]: Sen. Cruz is so committed to stripping federal funds from Planned Parenthood that it could result in shutting down the federal government in two weeks. Do you agree with this tactic?

KASICH: Well, I agree that we should defund Planned Parenthood. I don't know many people in America who don't think that we should, and in my state, we're trying to figure out how to get it done, because we are threatened with the federal government taking all of our Medicaid money away. I think there is a way to get this done by giving governors the ability to be able to act to defund Planned Parenthood. But when it comes to closing down the federal government, you gotta be very careful about that. I was in the Congress for 18 years; there are ways to do it without having to shut the government down, but I'm sympathetic to the fact that we don't want this organization to get funding, and the money ought to be reprogrammed for family planning in other organizations that don't support this tactic.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Federal shutdown ineffective in defunding Planned Parenthood

Q: Do you support congressional Republicans who are willing to shut down the government if that's what it takes to defund Planned Parenthood?

KASICH: I think Planned Parenthood ought to be defunded, no question about it. We're doing everything we can in Ohio to figure out how to get that done. Although, if you're going to shut the government down, you're never going to get anything signed by the president because he's in total opposition. So you'd shut the government down, and then over time you'd have to open it back up again and you wouldn't have achieved much. So I think there other ways for Congress to deal with this. In this case, the President's made it clear that he's not going to sign it. Now I'm willing to fight all day long, but you've got to have a good prospect of being able to be successful because if you're not successful, you haven't achieved anything, you're going to have people shake their heads and wonder what your thinking was.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 13, 2015

Reasonable exceptions, but respect other opinions

Q: You're pro-life?

A: Right.

Q: Should there be exceptions?

A: Yes, I have always been for exceptions.

Q: Which ones?

A: For rape, incest, and life of the mother.

Q: Two of your competitors, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker, said they're for no exceptions. Does that make you more electable?

A: No matter what your position is on the issue, you have to have respect for people. And I do. And it's an issue that people have a right to have a different point of view.

Q: Do you think that they would be electable against a Democrat, if they support no exceptions?

A: Well, I think that it's an important issue, but I think there's many other issues that are really critical, early childhood, infant mortality, the environment, education. I think we focus too much on just one issue.

Q: But it's one that matters in a lot of people's lives.

A: To a lot of people on both sides.

Q: Why are exceptions part of your belief?

A: Because I think it's reasonable.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 16, 2015

Require women seeking an abortion listen to fetal heartbeat

He still angers many on the left; he signed a budget in June that cut revenues to local governments and mandates that women seeking an abortion listen to the fetal heartbeat. Democrats see his centrist swing as mere calculation, a prelude to a tough re-election fight.
Source: New York Times article on Kasich and Tea Party , Oct 28, 2013

Admire pregnant women who don't treat cancer to protect baby

My agnostic friend's daughter was sick. One night, I managed to reach him at a tough time. His daughter was due to hear from her doctor the next day, and the expectation was that they'd be in for some more bad news.

[Shortly afterwards, I bumped into the daughter], pregnant with another child, the same young woman who had just received that awful diagnosis. She spoke as though I already knew about her condition. She was bubbly and cheerful and positive, saying, "Everybody in my church is praying for me, but what I really want is for them to look at my trial and to find their faith."

Her doctors were not treating her cancer as aggressively as they wanted to because of her concern for her unborn child--an example of her selfless faith. I couldn't believe the strength, and the strength of character, of this young woman, facing a miserable prognosis with her cancer, thinking not of herself but of others. I said, "Jesus would marvel at your faith." She reminded me of Job, actually.

Source: Every Other Monday, by John Kasich, p.171-174 , Jun 15, 2010

Pro-life except rape & incest; supports litmus test

[Kasich is] pro-life except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger. He wouldn’t pick a pro-choice running mate or nominate pro-choice judges. He sees no point in discussing the abortion issue either. It doesn’t serve any purpose, he said. He can’t change his principles. Unlike other pro-lifers whose abortion position also bespeaks a divisive judgmental look at all citizens, [Kasich’s spokesman said], “you’ll never see him pounding on a podium screaming divisive rhetoric.”
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “Pennyless in L.A.”, 4/4/99 , Apr 4, 1999

Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions.

HR 3660 would ban doctors from performing the abortion procedure called "dilation and extraction" [also known as “partial-birth” abortion]. The measure would allow the procedure only if the life of the woman is at risk.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Canady, R-FL; Bill HR 3660 ; vote number 2000-104 on Apr 5, 2000

Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion.

The Child Custody Protection Act makes it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of obtaining an abortion.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL; Bill HR 1218 ; vote number 1999-261 on Jun 30, 1999

Opposes federal abortion funding.

Kasich opposes the CC survey question on funding abortion

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic:"Public funding of abortions, (such as govt. health benefits and Planned Parenthood)"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q1b on Aug 11, 2010

Other candidates on Abortion: John Kasich on other issues:
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Page last updated: Dec 15, 2019